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    073657

    Urbanization and the urban environment.

    WORLD HEALTH STATISTICS QUARTERLY. RAPPORT TRIMESTRIEL DE STATISTIQUES SANITAIRES MONDIALES. 1991; 44(4):198-203.

    Urban health hazards in the rapidly urbanizing areas of developing countries are described, and ways to mitigate them by sustainable development are discussed. Urban health problems are serious in developing countries because population growth is so rapid, diseases of underdevelopment and poverty and of modernization are combined, and resources are so limited. The urban populations in developing countries suffer lack of safe water (25%), sewage disposal (50%), solid waste collection (30-50%), crowded living conditions, inadequate housing, indoor and outdoor air pollution, traffic, noise, and effluents from industry. These conditions result in high prevalence of asthma, bronchitis, diarrhea, respiratory infections, tuberculosis, meningitis, as well as stress, mental illness, accidents, violence, antisocial behavior, drug and alcohol abuse. Sustainable development for cities implies that meeting the needs of today's people will not compromise the life of future generations. This is difficult in cities because sustainable urban development must be linked to rural development. The more populous and spread-out the city and the richer its inhabitants, the larger is its demand on resources and the larger is the area from which it draws. Thus deforestation and soil erosion in rural areas result from city demands, but impoverish rural people, causing them to migrate to the city. Many rapidly growing South And Central American cities are sited in fragile ecozones where sustainable use of natural resources is problematic, and land is controlled by a small elite. The poorer cities in developing areas have the advantage of using resources far less wastefully than do First World city dwellers. As they develop and continue to grown, however, even they will demand substantial increases in nonrenewable resource use.
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