The effects of urbanization on our health

As part of the Sustainable Living Festival we talk about the effects of urbanisation on our health.

As our population grows so does our carbon footprint and our land. Immigrants come from all over the world and there are more immigrants now in Melbourne and Australia. People move from the rural areas to the cities in order to find better jobs. More trees in our forests are being cut down to make way for new land and houses. This means that our biodiversity is dying. Urbanisation causes a lot of strain on our health and money and here are a few things as to why.

Air pollution

Industrialization has created a lot of air pollution. People that live in big cities tends to be exposed to a lot more pollution. People drive everywhere and this produces some of the pollution. Other pollutants can include factory fumes, dust from buildings being built and demolition. This is a health problem as we don’t have as much clean air.

Everything is fast paced as companies want things cheaper. The cost of manufacturing is high and the prices have gone up on our food supply and other utilities.

Urbanised diets

People that live in big cities tend to be exposed to a lot more junk food and food is always at their convenience. Hence this has lead to more diseases as people lack in good nutrition. In every street corner there is always a fast food joint and some of them are 24 hours, like McDonalds.

Poor people cannot afford fresh food due to monetary issues. As such our health care costs are higher due to the higher rates of obesity and mortality.

Sedentary lifestyles

Living in the city means that people sit more and move less. People also drive to everywhere rather than bike or tram it.

Development of slums

Whilst Melbourne is lucky not to have such things, other places like India and third world countries have slums where people live in because they are poor. The cost of urbanisation as well as high unemployment rates have left people poor. Hence there are more squatters and slums than ever before.

Climate change

Because of this urbanisation we have had many warmer days. The Uk has had an abnormally warm summer last year. This year we have had the hazy season due to the bushfires.

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