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lecture 24 reading---De+Souza,+2002

lecture 24 reading---De+Souza,+2002 - Making the Link...

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Making the Link P opulation H ealth E nvironment The number of people on Earth, where they live, and how they live all affect the condition of the environment. People can alter the environment through their use of natural resources and the pro- duction of wastes. Changes in environmental conditions, in turn, can affect human health and well-being. Human demographic dynamics, such as the size, growth, distribution, age composi- tion, and migration of populations, are among the many factors that can lead to environmental change. Consumption patterns, development choices, wealth and land distribution, government policies, and technology can mediate or exacerbate the effects of demographics on the environment. The precise impact of a given change depends on the interplay among all these factors, but it is clear that demographic change can affect the environment. This book edition of the Making the Link: Population, Health, Environment wallchart provides information and data on critical linkages between human beings and the environment. The Population Reference Bureau’s Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) Program promotes a better understanding of such linkages by examining their causes, their consequences, and how they can be addressed. PHE’s logo of a person cradling Earth represents finding a thoughtful balance between human well-being and a healthy planet. For more information on the program or to order the wallchart, please visit the Population Reference Bureau’s website (www.prb.org) or write to us at [email protected] Jonathan G. Nash and Roger-Mark De Souza Population Reference Bureau MEASURE Communication 1875 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 520, Washington, DC 20009 USA
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2 Urbanization has both positive and negative effects on the environment A lmost 3 billion people worldwide live in urban areas, with more people joining them every day. People may choose to move because of a variety of “pull” and “push” fac- tors: They may move to urban areas to take advantage of economic opportunities offered in cities, or because of degraded environments in rural areas. Human pressure on natural habitats in rural areas is often reduced as people move from rural areas to cities. Urbanization can improve living standards, since urban residents tend to have higher incomes, longer life expectancy, and improved access to services. Population growth may slow, because urban women tend to have fewer children than rural women. But cities also produce concentrated amounts of solid waste, sewage, and air pollution, as well as demands for energy, food, and other resources. In many rapidly growing cities, supplies of clean water, electricity, housing, roads, and sewage treatment facilities cannot keep up with population increases. Such rapid growth can hinder the development of adequate infrastructure and regulatory mechanisms for coping with these side effects of growth, Demands on natural resources will continue to grow as young people establish their families T
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