Using examples, explain the challenges of rapid mega city growth

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Using examples explain the challenges of rapid megacity growth

A megacity is an urban area with a population of over 8 million; examples include Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Los Angeles and Beijing. As the global population rises and rural to urban migration increases, there is a rapidly growing number of megacities in the world. Although megacities boast many benefits they also have negative externalities such as poor living conditions (growth of slum areas), increases rate of crime, stress on services, traffic congestion, urban sprawl and environmental problems such as pollution and it can be difficult to manage the growth of megacities in a sustainable way

Mumbai is one such megacity which is facing problems as a consequence of rapid growth. Within Mumbai the slum area of Dharavi houses 600,000 people in one square mile of land, which illustrates the crowded conditions of such slum areas. This has come as a consequence of rural to urban migration; the rural people are attracted to the city by the “bright light syndrome” and the prospect of jobs, better services such as healthcare and education and an overall better standard of living. Often TNCs invest in megacities within developing cities due to the cheap labour, but there are simply not enough jobs for all the people that rapidly move into the city. The rapid growth of the city has led to illegally constructed, bad quality buildings and houses on government land in Mumbai with poor sanitation and standard of living. Taps run dry most of the time in Dharavi and tankers have to come and bring water to the slum every fortnight at government expense. Government and services face the challenge of battling diseases which arise from overcrowded conditions which lead to poor hygiene, sanitation and unclean water supply. In Dharavi open drains run thick with untreated human and industrial waste- cholera, typhoid and malaria are common diseases which often lead to the loss of life. Government along with charity and aid workers face the challenge of policing these areas and giving the dwellers a chance at earning money so they can move to legal housing. There is also an issue of crime. Crime is very high in Dharavi and there are no police patrols in the slums. Barely 10% of the commercial activity in the slum is legal but the average household wage in Dharavi is well above that in rural areas of India. Some parts of Dharavi have bars, beauty parlours, clothes boutiques and even cash machines. If the prospects of the dwellers and the future generations of the slums are to escape poverty, a challenge the government faces is educating the children that live in the slums to give them a better chance of getting a good job. The government along with charities and non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) also face the challenge of building appropriate and affordable housing to reduce the population of the slum dwellers and improve their conditions.

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Furthermore, as rural to urban migration increases, and the populations of the megacities increase traffic congestion becomes a big problem.  is a condition on road networks that occurs as use increases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, increased pollution, and increased  of vehicles. As the population grows the number of cars also increases and as a result the roads become congested. Traffic congestion causes pollution as fuel is wasted and carbon dioxide is released when cars constantly accelerate and brake and when cars are idle for a long amount of time. Traffic congestion can also cause delays, which ...

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