Ms. Arooj Fatima, Green Blogger, Department of Environmental sciences, GCWUS
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they created by every body”
Urban sprawl is a major cause of environmental pollution in Pakistan, Urban sprawl refers to “unplanned, unrestrained spreading of urban development into areas attached the edge of cities”. The way we plan the physical layout, or land use of our communities is fundamental to sustainability. It is criticized in terms of chief problems such as inhabiting cultivated areas, removing away many advantages provided by natural open spaces, increasing transport cost and transforming downtown into decayed areas. Urban sprawl combines low density and shattering of the urban area, increases the average travel distances for daily trips, and hinders a shift toward less energy-intensive transportation modes. The sprawling nature of cities is judgmentally important because of the major impacts that are evident in increased energy, land and soil consumption. These impacts threaten both the natural and rural environments, raising greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, and elevated air and noise pollution levels which often exceed the agreed human safety limits. Thus, urban sprawl produces many adverse impacts that have direct effects on the quality of life. Using fossil fuels also results in the emission of other gases and particulates that worsen air quality.
According to the World Health Organization, Karachi is the most populated and polluted city in Pakistan with air twice as polluted as that of Beijing. The level of pollution in major cities of Punjab is also three to four times higher than that determined safe by the UN. A dearth of clean drinking water remains a major contributor to the high mortality rate of children under five years old. The challenge of global warming has also exaggerated in cities. A rise in concrete structures across the urban site is increasing temperatures within cities. One consequence is extreme inequality in land use. Housing schemes constructed outside city limits have used up an estimated 60,000 acres of prime agricultural land. The loss of agricultural land has major impacts on biodiversity with the loss of valuable biotopes for many animals, and particularly birds. Rainwater which falls on sealed areas is heavily polluted by tire abrasion, dust and high concentrations of heavy metals, which when washed into rivers degrade the hydrological system.
How to fix these problems? Urban sprawl is not a problem that can be fixed, it can only be improved. The solution that I thought to be functional was to simply make people aware of the problem, to slow down urban sprawl is to enforce birth control. The root cause of urban sprawl is progressively large population. Because there are so many people living here, as the population rises and people move, new developments must be created to meet their needs. Another way to slow down urban sprawl is to use new technology to allow more people to be able to work from home because urban sprawl is happening is because people are dependent on accessing workplaces and public services offered only by a large city. There is an incentive to live near the city because of the perks that the city offers its inhabitants.
We all have to take care of this land. Unfortunately, Land was viewed as a commodity to bought and sold for a profit rather than as a nonrenewable resource to be managed