To what extent does the problem of urbanization can be met by sustainable development?
For the past decades the trend of urbanization has rapidly increased, especially in developing countries. Urbanization may be defined as a process in which people from rural areas are migrating to the city. The sudden increase of the population in cities has brought significant problems to their inhabitants, the environment and resources. These problems are providing housing with basic facilities and public transport, mitigating the effect of pollution which is detrimental to the environment and people, and sustaining its development and resources. Sustainable development is defined in the Brundtland Report in Our Common Future as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (Brundtlant, 1987, p. 43). Governments have established sustainable development policies to address problems of urbanization. This essay will discuss why policies of sustainable development have partly met the problems of urbanization. Hong Kong’s steep increase in urbanization has caused problems in housing. As Chaffey (1994) points out, Hong Kong, despite of being an affluent city has many dilapidated buildings and most of it have lots of occupants and have no available space for their basic facilities. The sudden increase of their population was due to the inflow of refugees from mainland China and Vietnam. As a result Hong Kong has experienced a scarcity in housing and lack of space to build it. Due to these circumstances ‘squatter settlements’ and ‘boat squatters’ started to emerge at the verge of city areas and in Hong Kong Harbour. The ‘squatter settlements’ proliferated for the Government tolerated them and even designated a specific place where some of the destitute families can build their home. With regards to ‘boat squatters’ it grew for it is hard to monitor because of Hong Kong’s coast lines and...
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