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Answer the questions below. Type your answers in the spaces provided.
A. At the height of the Roman Empire, Rome in 5 A.D. was the first city in the world with a population exceeding 1 million. Despite the early period of development unlike many cities today, Rome was not unable to support its population and had sophisticated sanitation, water systems and provision of adequate low-income housing. It would not be until as late as 1800 until another city, Beijing, would boast a population of comparable size. The fastest urban growth in the first part of the 20th
century was experienced by western countries; New York and London, closely followed by Beijing, were the first to host a population of over 1 million. By 1950, New York, London, Paris, Moscow and Chicago, along with Tokyo, were amongst the world’s top 10 largest cities, and in that same period New York became the world’s first ‘mega-city’ with a population over 10 million.
B. While urban growth in Western cities is now relatively stable and often strictly controlled, the numbers of urban dwellers in developing countries continue to escalate. Drawn by employment opportunities and in search of a better life, migrant populations from rural areas, often in many parts of the world, find themselves on arrival in their urban ‘paradise’ existing in squalor and unsanitary conditions far worse than those they left behind. By 2015 it is predicted that 27 of the 33 mega-cities in existence will be in the developing world, this scenario problematic in that highest growth is expected in areas least financially able to support that growth.
C. During the 20th Century the world’s population increased dramatically from 1.65 billion to 6 billion, it is estimated that by 2050 it will stand at 9 billion. Currently the developed world’s population is decreasing due to strict immigration regulations and lower birth rates within the indigenous population, conversely and simultaneously populations in the developing world are increasingly dramatically. For example, India’s population is expected to have grown to 1.6 billion by 2050, which would make it the world’s most populated country; the African population is also expected to be one of the world’s largest by the same time period.
D. It is estimated that by 2030 more than half of the populations of Asia and Africa will live in urban areas and likewise that 80% of Latin America and Caribbean populations will be urban dwellers. Asia is expected to lose 26 million of its rural population prior to 2030. In fact, on a global scale, it is estimated that approximately two thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. At the time of writing, urban areas are said to constitute only 2% of the geographical area of the world; however, the impact they have on the environment far outweighs the seemingly insignificant space they utilise. For example, a
city such as London needs to utilize an area 60 times larger than the city itself in order to provide adequate provision of food and timber-derived products for the people who reside there. The main concern of many environmentalists is that urban areas contribute massively to environmental damage at the same time as they consume the earth’s natural resources.
E. Already many mega cities currently in existence are unable to meet the needs of their inhabitants. Air pollution is a major concern – of twenty cities studied by the World Health Organisation, seven showed evidence of excess of three or more pollutants in the environment and all 20 demonstrated excess levels of at least one major pollutant. Lung infections related to air pollution are said to be the cause of over 80% of deaths in the under 5 age group in developing countries. In addition, it is said that more than 20% of the world’s population live with inadequate access to clean water, thus urban residents in many
areas are at high risk of related diseases such as cholera and typhoid. Preparation of food safe enough to eat is often impossible and food poisoning is rife. Such problems, already in existence are logically expected to become significantly worse in the future when populations, particularly urban populations, increase. Alarm bells are already ringing.
Questions 1 – 8
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading?
In boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
Correct 8 / 8 PointsIncorrect / 8 Points
1. Beijing was the first 20th century city to have a population over 1 million.
2. Population numbers in all cities around the world are increasing.
3. New migrants to the cities are unable to find work.
4. Birth rates among migrant families tend to fall once they emigrate to western countries.
5. Over half of people in Asia and Africa live in urban areas.
6. Cities have an impact on the environment which is disproportional to their size.
7. Air pollution is responsible for over 80% of deaths in mega cities.
8. The health risk of living in cities is likely to increase.