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The Impacts of Urbanisation

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Introduction

The Impacts of Urbanisation Introduction Mexico City is one of the largest urban centres in the world with an estimated population of 22 million living within a surface area of 100,000 hectares. Mexico City is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the Americas. It is located within the central Mexican plateau, in the Valley of Mexico, on the former bed of Lake Texcoco and is surrounded by mountains over 5000m high. Its city centre (the Zocalo) was built on the site of the Aztec capital site Tenochtitl´┐Żn. The 1920s saw plans for the urbanization of Mexico City initiated. As mills and factories spread, so more and more people were attracted to the city. Between 1930 and 1950, the population more than doubled, a pattern of rapid growth that has continued to the present day. Like many of the world's 'megacities', Mexico City exhibits many of the problems of unchecked growt: unplanned and haphazard development, severe pollution, inadequate housing and services, high population densities and a generally poor quality of life for most residents. Though many think of Mexico as simply America's poor neighbor, the truth is quite the contrary. ...read more.

Middle

One of the major social consequences of urban sprawl is the loss of the "Sense of Place". Urban Sprawl can turn a landscape which once was considered special into something that reflects the "geography of nowhere" (Kunstler, J. H., 1998). Kunstler claims that the "geography of nowhere" created by sprawl destroys the unique character of the urban and rural communities as activities which once took place in the center of Toronto have been segregated and dispersed in the periphery. The result is that miles of undifferentiated landscape are created where civic values are undermined, and individuals in those new subdivisions become alienated from their neighbours (Kunstler, J. H., 1998). The process of suburbanization leads to greater social and to a lesser degree racial inequalities in Toronto. This social diversification takes place because of the flight of job opportunities from the city to the suburbs which the poor and minorities cannot afford. Thus, sprawl has devastating impacts on the poor and minorities left behind in the city core. Economic impact Mexico City is very much a primate city, producing 28% of the country's industrial output, 49% of manufacturing and 68% of financial services. ...read more.

Conclusion

The site produces dangerous air and water pollution, when chemicals are leached into the water table. Water supply is another problem. Mexico City consumes 60,000 litres of water per second, 80% of which is groundwater. Having overpumped the Mexico Valley aquifer, it is now necessary to pump water up to 180km from Cutzamala at much higher cost. Some 40% of water entering the city's supply system disappears en route, due to cracked and leaking pipes, illegal tampering and the lack of water meters. A vicious circle has developed, with the service so poor that the water companies cannot recoup their costs from users, and the derived income so low that the service can't be improved. In Toronto, cost of sprawl is not only economic and social but also environmental. First sprawl causes natural resources to be consumed at a greater rate. Natural lands are converted into residential areas at unsustainable rates. Sprawl pushes farmers off their land and onto less productive land, forcing them to harvest a greater area than before in order to produce the same amount. As low density houselots encroach on the outlying areas, the agricultural landscape which surrounds Toronto is ruined. ...read more.

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