Allen R. Stevens
SSn 187-8764 (50681)
Urban Geography and Human Ecology
Urban geography and
human ecology are the sensitive areas that are being closely monitored on the
performance of modern cities and urban centers. These areas have different ways
they impact to the general well-being of the society. Urban geography is a
sub-discipline of geography that involves the study of various city aspects.
Urban geographers concentrate mainly on the location and space available to
analyze processes that direct to the patterns that are evident in urban
centers. Sociopolitical issues of a city, as well as its economic potential,
are also brought out by an urban geographer.
According to Macionis,
John J. and Vincent N. Parrillo in their reading ‘Cities and Urban Life’ human
ecology, on the other hand, takes its interest in their activities of humans on
the ecosystem and the resultant effects of the interaction. An observed
increase in urban centers has also led a significant rise in the population of
these urban centers and therefore, increased human activities in the cities.
Consequently, pollution being on the front along other impacts of human
activities can be witnessed. Some of the ways urban geography and human ecology
impact on humans include the following ideas.
It is also crucial to
note that the differences in cities result in different environmental impacts
as highlighted by the authors in their reading ‘Cities and Urban Life.’ This
depends on the nature of the primary activities taking place in the town and
the possibility of repercussions of those actions. The areas that may be
densely be affected by the mushrooming of cities include; transportation, the
quality of air, buildings as well as green buildings. Mode of transport is the
means of maneuvering around. The method of transport in the cities has been
boosted by the introduction of buses which can fetch several people at a time
and conveniently reduce the agony in traveling. Due to an increase in demand
for a better transport system to cater for the vastly growing population, the
transport system is streamlined to the point of satisfying the community.
Population growth in
towns is one of those impacts of urban centers formation. The rate of population
increase may be accounted for by the rapid population growth rate currently and
most common is a migration of people from rural areas to urban centers
(Macionis, et al, 46). People tend to move to towns in search of a
better life and a vast majority being in search of jobs. This has led to around
half of the population moving to towns. Large numbers of people in towns have
seen a lot of people resulting to poor conditions and overcrowding in the city.
The opportunities many people move to towns to search for are sometimes
insufficient to cover all the people. Therefore, migrations to the cities are
associated with the better facilities, businesses, specialist services and more
job opportunities available. Improved health facilities may lead to old aged
people relocating to cities while better education service calls for children
stay in cities (Macionis, et al, 50).
The transition from pre-industrialization to industrialization introduced these
decision making is another impact of cities and its people, different
expectations from different investors starting from the government to private
investors. Each participant reaches decisions that favor their expectations.
This results in development without a clear plan, coordination, and control. If
a city does not have a clear master plan for development, there are high
chances that the development strategy may vary from one investor to another
bringing up a mixed up development format (Macionis, et al, 31). This affects people who get to be part of substandard
development projects. Similarly, the economic base may be diversified raising
housing demands. Consequently, haphazard construction of houses comes in. This
form of development may lack sufficient planning and coordination among
Macionis, et al, (33) also indicates that sanitation
is also significantly threatened by cities. Massive exhausts from industries,
vehicles and both industrial and domestic wastes contribute to low sanitation
standards (Macionis, et al, 44).
These act as health hazards if not controlled early. Limited space for dumping
residues as well as large numbers of industries along with vehicles leads to
pollution of the environment.
In addition, in the
reading ‘Cities and Urban Life’ the authors states that human ecology is also
closely related to urban geography as human efforts coordinate most of the
activities carried out in the cities. The same events have some effect on the
ecological system. Pollution is on rampant coming from land, water, and air.
Effluents from different human activities are the common pollutants of the
ecosystem. Air pollution conditions are so dangerous citing an example of smog
from air pollution and oceanic accumulation of plastic bags which endangers the
lives of aquatic animals.
warming is another human orchestrated threat. High emissions of carbon dioxide
from fossil fuel trap heat that has resultantly caused the melting of Arctic
ice which has led to the rise of ocean level. The melting of reflective ice to
water poses a danger since water absorbs heat and therefore raise the
temperatures. According to Macionis, et al, (6) a significant emphasis on
genetically modified organisms is aimed at increasing the amount of yield. On
the other hand, use of fungicides and certain herbicides has promoted the
generation of highly resistant weeds, by removing the plants, there stands a
risk of exposing the soil to sunlight which may kill essential microorganisms
that contribute to soil fertility.
seriously encroaching being facilitated by a rise in population and therefore
prompting for the need for more food (Macionis, et al, 7). On the same line, human tend to reduce the open forests
to increase farming land. Similarly, humans have also contributed to sanitation
of the ecosystem. This is through setting up of plastic recycling plants which
try to reduce the amount of plastic disposed of by reusing it. Some invest in
coming up with environmental cleanup projects such as the ocean clean-up
John J. and Vincent N. Parrillo. Cities and Urban Life. Seventh Edition:
Pearson, 2017, ISBN-13: 9780133869804