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Saving Space (Environmental) Essay

1777 words - 8 pages

As a species on the planet we have so far shown little regard for the environment that sustains us. The use and misuse of our land creates devastating results for entire species of plant and animal life. One main aspect of this challenge is that of urbanization. As our cities become larger and our population grows we are faced with the challenge of having adequate living space for the human population while maintaining a balance of the natural habitat for wildlife.
With the growing number of humans inhabiting the planet, we will be forced to pursue other means of sustainability to the environment. Taking another look at urbanization and making the best use of the land we have is going ...view middle of the document...

Less air pollution leads to less water contamination and healthier environments for plants and animals.
Another issue that we are facing with the amount of land we are using is the brownfield and landfill issue. Contaminated lands are not being cleaned by the communities. Instead the urban areas grow larger to accommodate the loss of land. Cities are now taking steps to implement clean-up of these areas, so that they can be occupied either by wildlife or humans again. This is a very long process. It takes time and resources to undo the damage inflicted on the land by human inhabitation. Steps are being taken in some communities to mitigate the damage now. Even still more should be done to support this effort. (The Rhizome Collective, 2007)
Water pollution can also contribute to the damage caused by urbanization. When cities cover the land with streets and concrete, the rain water is not absorbed into the soil as it should be. Instead, communities build drainage systems to distribute the run-off to sewage treatment centers. If these treatment facilities are able to keep up with the amount of run-off produced in the city there is no issue; however, if the treatment centers are overloaded or accidentally dump the run-off water into the natural waterways without treatment the effect can be devastating to both human and animal water supplies. According to World Watch 2008, urbanization also fragments natural spaces and threatens biodiversity, as expanding cities exert pressure on ecosystems on the fringe of urban areas. However, rural-to-rural migration, including movement to remote areas, forest frontiers, and coastal areas with greater land and resource availability, is often more harmful to biodiversity.
In an article by J. Ottensmann, it is noted that while the population of Indiana is projected to increase by 15% from 2005 to 2040, the amount of land in Indiana in urban use could increase by a third or more, resulting in the loss of over 60,000 acres of rural land to urban development, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation. Human occupation takes up far more space than just the land we live on. We need to make room for business, transportation, and food resources for the additional people.
The main issue that we will face is the urge to put action off and leave it for future generations. This is a mistake that we can not afford to make. The time is now and time is of the essence. We will need to compel our leaders to act as if this is a life or death situation, because it is the suture of our next generations that are at stake.
In implementing the compact development we can cut down on air and water pollution in our cities and the surrounding lands. One major consideration will be that in compact development the need for individual transportation is dramatically reduces. Public transportation and other means of transportation will become the preferable choice. Reducing the amount of...

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