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To what extent are the problems created by rapid recent urban growth in LEDC's similar to those created by rapid 19th century growth in MEDC's? A number of problems in Mexico City have been created by rapid urban growth

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Introduction

To what extent are the problems created by rapid recent urban growth in LEDC's similar to those created by rapid 19th century growth in MEDC's? A number of problems in Mexico City have been created by rapid urban growth, some of which are similar to those experienced by the UK in the 19th century, the period of the industrial revolution. Mexico is situated between Belize and the USA; the capital is in the centre of the country and growth is constricted towards the south and west due to high rugged mountains. Mexico City is built on a series of old lakebeds almost 2400m above sea level; the majority of the lakes in the valley were drained by the late 18th century. Although the lakes were drained there is still a store of water underground, this means that the city is sinking by 5-40cm per year. Due to the city being built on relatively unstable grounds, the lake sediments amplify earthquakes experienced in the area. In September 1985 an earthquake caused a death toll of 10,000. With an elevated mountain rimmed basin, Mexico City is prone to temperature inversions where pollutants, particularly from burning fossil fuels are trapped and cannot disperse, this creates a layer of smog over the city. ...read more.

Middle

Thirdly, socio-economic segregation, people often live in areas of similar ethnic groups, life style and family types. For example in Mexico City there are specific areas where the elite live and other areas where the poor live. The elite tend to be found in areas of wealthy suburbanites in the south west of the city where there is the least pollution, furthest from industries with the best commercial services, transport networks and medical and healthcare options. Where as the poorer population live in the northeast close to the industrial areas and CBD where there is the worst pollution and 40-66% live in informal settlements. Fourthly, migration, there are a range of strong push and pull factors to Mexico City from rural areas in Mexico. Approximately 3000 people migrate to Mexico City each day from surrounding states, for example Hidalgo. The push and pull factors can be divided up into economic, political, social and environmental. A political pull factor is that education is more available in the city and older children often can attend whilst younger ones work with parents in the informal sector. Political push factors are that there is a lack of basic services in rural areas, 80% without running water and poor communications and that there has been very little investment in projects benefiting subsistence farmers. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the early 19th century Manchester experienced an extremely rapid increase in population size, while London's population doubled, Manchester's trebled. In 1811 Manchester had a population of 89,068 by 1851 the population had risen to 303,382 people. This created an extreme problem with availability of housing and quality of living standards. Population density was extremely high and many people shared poorly constructed houses with very little sanitation and no water supply. This can be seen in Mexico City today, here the population density has risen to 5487 persons per km2 due to the mass numbers migrating to the city on a daily basis and therefore there is not adequate housing available. This means that shanty towns have developed where people live in shacks constructed from corrugated iron and wood. Where people are living in proper houses it often overcrowded, this is 44% of houses in Mexico City. With a large population comes a large waste disposal crisis; in Mexico City approximately 90% of hazardous waste is release into the sewage systems, which are contaminating the water supply. This has further affect on the population when the water is used on the growing crops. A result of the contamination is that fruit and vegetables contain a high level of lead. Many babies born suffer some problem caused by lead poisoning. ...read more.

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