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ENVIRONMENTA ISSUES IN SMALL AND MEDIUM TOWNS Region tends to concentrate people in the large urban centers, still

about 47% of the urban population lives in small and medium sized cities. Increasing levels of urbanization are caused by natural growth of the urban population and migration of the rural population towards cities. The implications of rapid urban growth include increasing unemployment, environmental degradation, lack of urban services, overburdening of existing infrastructure .

Although many smaller cities seem to face less pressing environmental problems, the combined ecological footprint of small cities in a region may be bigger than a large city.

Due attention to environmental issues of smaller cities is needed because they constitute an alternative for the current trend of urbanization which concentrates people mostly in the large metropolitan areas.

The accumulation of people, their consumption patterns, travel behavior, city compactness, or dispersion, urban open space, integration or segregation of land uses, and other related physical issues have a large impact on the environment in terms of resource consumption and waste discharges.

OVERVIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES


The environmental problems in small and medium sized cities in the region are highly diverse. The type and magnitude, their specific causes and consequences vary according to the cities population size, growth rates, natural surroundings, economic functions, political and administrative context, culture etc. The survey of this study shows that many specific environmental problems in the small and medium sized cities can be grouped in a few broader issues. These issues, and the many related specific environmental problems, have many interrelationships with each other, as well as with social and economic issues. It is also clear that urban and rural environmental problems are closely inter-linked.

Water pollution and depletion Waterborne diseases are found as a result of inadequate sanitation, drainage, pesticides and industrial effluents. Air pollution: Outdoor, by industrialization and motorization emissions, and Indoor, from household and occupational sources Solid waste Hazardous waste, when improperly discharged by households and industries. Energy use and wastage Resource Losses - Groundwater contamination and depletion - Land and ecosystem degradation - Degradation of historic structures and cultural resources Environmental hazards: - Natural disasters (e.g. hurricane, earth quake, volcano, flooding,..etc.) - Man-made hazards (e.g. chemical spills and other industrial accidents)

THE EARTHQUAKE AND ITS IMPACT 14,000 dead and 167,000 injured 1.2 million homes badly damaged or destroyed Livelihoods lost Infrastructure destroyed extensively GUJARAT GOVERNMENT RESPONSE Intervened Took Control Local Government sidelined Decided to facilitate instead of providing Adopted a participatory approach