Essay on What are the factors behind the rise of megacities

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Pages: 4

What are the factors behind the rise of Mega Cities, and to what extent are these urban areas sustainable?
Megacities, defined by population, have at least 10 million inhabitants. In recent years, megacities in the developing world have grown rapidly with little or no planning. As a result, they face cries of infrastructure, poverty and unemployment. The driving force for the rise of megacities is mass urbanisation between rural – urban areas, as well as rates of natural increase that are higher in urban than rural areas. An example of a megacity is Mexico City, population estimates range between 16-30 million depending on where the boundaries are drawn. Either way, Mexico City is now considered the world’s 3rd largest city and still
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The light rail system in Mexico City thrives, with nine lines, 75 miles of tracks and still more under construction. Neighbourhood groups have been put together to build houses, remove trash and cut down on crime, not only does this directly benefit the city it also brings the communities together. Volunteers from San Francisco also bring hope to many of the bleakest parts of the city. They teach English to uneducated adults and children, they bring medical supplies and develop micro-enterprises.
However much the cities are attempted to be sustained, the enormous populations bring economic, social and environmental problems. With over 10million people living in mega cities it is hard to provide suitable education and accommodation for all residents. The Kampung Improvement Programme in Jakarta was initially successful in boosting living conditions for 3.5million migrants, but it has been unable to accommodate the present migrant flux. There is a housing shortage in Jakarta, with a demand for 200,000 new houses a year unfulfilled.
In 1992 Mexico was ranked the most contaminated city in the world. By 1998 Mexico City has added the distinction of being ‘the world’s most dangerous city for children to live in’. It has gained this reputation mainly because of the air pollution problems it has. A combination of population, geography and geology has caused the substantial air pollution problems. Studies showed that it is unhealthy to breathe air with over 120 parts