Urban Environmental Pollution

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More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, a trend that is rapidly

accelerating, especially in developing countries. In the USA, urban areas are merging into huge

megalopitan areas, especially along interstate highways. Cities require and use large quantities

of energy and materials, metabolizing them and generating large quantities of waste products and

pollutants, resulting in unsustainable environments that adversely affect ecological integrity and

diversity and human health and well-being. The effects of cities on people are not well-

understood. Cities require huge amounts of energy, resulting in large quantities of waste

products, causing unsustainable environments. Cities are sources of air, water and soil pollution.

Light and noise pollution are now known to adversely affect urban people. The role of urban heat

on human health is beginning to emerge. Lack of green space may have psychological effects for

urban dwellers. Looking more widely, cities only encompass 2% of the world’s land surface, yet

they are responsible for consuming over 75% of the planet’s resources and produce 75% of the

world’s waste. Many of the cities of tomorrow are more likely to be mega or super cities, with

single mega-cities spawning sprawling urban regions representing the largest, most complex

manmade structures ever created. For all of these reasons, we view the urban environment as a

pressing issue requiring prompt attention. The opportunities are immense, but the problems are

acute and the time to deal with them is already upon us. The urban environment therefore

demands urgent attention as huge commitments are currently being made for the future in the

absence of a coherent urban environmental policy framework. This is occurring at a time when

the majority of the world’s population lives in cities and other urban areas, many of which are

already experiencing difficulty in...
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