Types of Urban Environmental Degradation
Urban Environmental degradation are categorized into two major parts that include human and physical degradation that are affecting cities of the world. In this article, you will learn the various types of environmental degradation affecting urban areas.
Types of Urban Environmental Degradation
There are divided into two main categories i.e. human-induced and natural environmental problems.
Natural: – The geographical location of some urban areas makes them more vulnerable to extreme weather and climate events. However, the extent to which an extreme event results in disastrous events depends on the decision makers’ ability to plan and take protective measures (E.C.A., 2001).
Natural disaster may be geological, biotic and atmospheric in origin. Disasters occur without warning and cannot be prevented.
Human induce: – Man’s use and misuse of the urban environment have several consequences many of which have become really hazardous to him. These hazards include the pollution of the atmosphere, water and Land, deforestation, violence and war, accidents from occupation and poor architectural/engineering designs.
Some Urban Environmental Degradation Problems
Atmospheric pollution affects everyone around the city, it results from the injection of alien substances in to the atmosphere in proportion greater than what the atmosphere can decompose.
Water pollution results from the deliberate or accidental dumping of liquid and release of harmful/toxic substances into water bodies, which makes the water unsafe for human consumption and endangers aquatic Life from industries and human activities in the city.
Land pollution /degradation can be in form of alteration and deformation of the Landforms, destruction of Lands and reduction in productivity of soils.
Deforestation is the destruction of trees, it can be by disease, cutting, burning, flooding, erosion, pollution, or volcanic activity. It reduces the ability of the forests to supply a wide range of raw materials and often lead to a modification of the micro-climate.
Greenhouse Effect and Global warming, greenhouse gases are a natural part of the atmosphere, they trap the sun’s warmth, and preserve the earth’s surface temperature at a medium level needed to support Life.
These gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and so on. Problem occurs when greenhouse gases increases which led to Global warming as a result of the human activities (industrialization, clearing of land, burning of fossil fuels, biomass burning etc) for urban development.
It all led to melting of ice lands, and rising sea levels affecting especially coastal cities. It also leads to temperature increase and extreme weather conditions (climate change). It can also be due to ozone layer depletion that is caused largely by atmospheric pollution.
The ozone depletion is strongly affected by chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), carbon dioxide, methane gas, halons that make their way into the stratosphere due to industrial activities in cities of developed countries.
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Health wise, when the ozone is damaged, it can cause genetic malformation, cancers and other diseases such as skin and sight (eye) problems.
Erosion: It is the gradual removal of top soil through the action of wind, water and ice, as erosional agents. This is due to Man’s activities such as deforestation, cultivation, construction, quarrying, bush burning etc. in the city. It causes gully, rill and sheet erosion.
Waste Generation: All over the globe, the need for man to seek for urban development encourage exploitation of the environmental resources. This is done with little or no regard for the environment.
Such careless exploitation often leads to waste generation. Also, the high rate of urbanization and industrial activities means a lot of waste would be produce from man’s production and consumption. World Bank report estimates that municipal waste generation will double over the next 20 years in low-income countries.
In conclusion, environmental degradation affecting cities can be categorized into two major parts that include human and natural environmental degradation.
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