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Impacts Of Urban Sprawl: Urbanization

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Write about the Impacts of Urban Sprawl for Urbanization.




Urbanization refers to the process by which huge number of people shifts their bases from rural areas to the cities with the hope of living better quality lives due to the availability of many advantages that are not present in rural areas. This often include greater scopes of employability, better education system, better lifestyle, good transportation and many others. This recent trend has led huge number of people coming and shifting their base to the cities from the rural areas 1. Further development in the field of medical science has already resulted in the growth in the number of population. As a result cities have come under great pressures and thereby they tend to impact the people at various levels. The essay will mainly portray two of such impact that had affected on the health of the people due to their settlement in the cities and the different initiatives that they government had taken for that. It will also show how different health promotion programs can be organized to address the current issues.


First Impact:

One important impact that is affecting the health of people is called urban sprawl. Urbanization had led many of the nations to become developed and make life more comfortable. This had resulted in a situation called urban sprawl where there had been present of more density of people in a particular square meter and had resulted in congestion of people living in small household s in large number. This is mainly the case of the people who have come from rural or suburban areas and had settled there. It not only results in environmental harm but also on the monetary costs. The cities are growing outward engulfing more fresh lands for making complexes, residential areas, employment centers and offices.

Health Promotion Program Undertaken:

This fast movement is unplanned in most cases resulting in degraded human health 2. Poor community design like poorly planned low density, auto-dependent development had resulted in a condition where people are facing difficulty to undertake physical activities and maintain healthy weight. Some of the American reports suggest that there are about 448 countries with sprawling effects where more than 200000 individuals have reported unavailability of patches for walking, biking or perform exercise 3 . Development of body mass index showing obesity has therefore been common along with fatigues, unhealthy lifestyles, lack of entertainments spots and others. Moreover, huge number of families living within small apartments built to accommodate huge population in many developed and developing countries are also the reason where people face irritation feels claustrophobic, develops frustrations and mental problems. However different governments have approached the matter in different ways. One can provide an example for it. Australian government had proposed an Australian infrastructure plan with an aim to develop a nation which will give the best lives of people. However, issues such as homelessness, improperly insulated residential apartments, huge residential plots without parks and free grounds are still found in different parts 4. Not only in Australia, America also failed miserably to accommodate its huge number of transports in the narrow lanes of many of the countries where recent increase in population had taken place. In a developing country, like India policies have been published which proposes that by 2050, 900 million people will be added to Indian cities but however no promising steps have been seen to be taken. Huge number of footpath dweller, slums and other such temporary shelters are quite common in many corners compromising hygiene and healthy lives.


Second Impact:

The impact that had resulted from the rapid increase of number of people in the cities is pollution and that had been affecting the health of different people. Increase of vehicular emissions has increased due to production of more transportation on the road. Not only has that photochemical smog been found to be a common occurrence Water pollution is also taking place due to the flow of the domestic sewage as well as from the urban runoff 5. It had been seen that the river in Sydney called the Nepean & Endash; Hawkesbury are under severe stress due to this effect. Garbage disposal has also become a concern I the cities due to the huge population causing environmental pressure on the cities. Reports have suggested that Sydney and Melbourne residents are generating huge tones of papers, cardboards, plastics, solid wastes and others that are having adverse environmental effects. Resources get wasted and toxic air emission is common.

Breathing problems have become common in citizens. Reports have shown that people who are living in cities have decreased lung function and also suffering from respiratory inflammation 6. Polluted areas are responsible for the spread of carcinogens affecting people with cancer. Serious damages are found in the immune system as well as in the endocrine and reproductive system. Harmful chemicals which are liberated are settling in water, plants and others which when consumed are resulting in sever adverse impacts on human health.

Health Promotion Program Undertaken:

Governments all over the world have considered it to be a severe issue and have now tried to control the emissions occurring form the cities. Government of Australia has therefore initiated different laws, initiatives, organizations as well as educational programs with an aim to fix up the problem of urbanization in Australia. The Greens political party as well as the Greenpeace has therefore spoken out the major concerns to make the population aware of issues and take precautionary measure. The national heritage Trust (NHT) takes care of the restoration as well as the conservation of Australia’s environment and natural resources 7. They are responsible for funding the community, states as well as national level activities in order to improve the environmental impacts on the health of the people. Often waste management awareness, land care projects, coast and clean sea initiatives to overcome the impacts that have resulted due to huge people settling in Cities. A very big event is organized to attract the attention of Australians to help them understand the harmful impacts of pollution on their health and is the biggest event in the country. Still it has been found that the results have been not satisfactory as many people are still tending to continue practices that are harming the nature 8. The National Pollutant Inventory is a report that had been published by the federal government from the data put forward by different industries show that there had been complete failure for Australia, in decreasing the level of pollution 9.


An Ideal Model that Government Should use and the Present Status:

However, the government as well as the different community level should approach to the entire issue after a thorough research. This is important because they should gather the knowledge that their own activities are harming their health resulting in cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, headache, uneasy, cancer and others 10. The best health promotion model that both the public and the private sector should implement is their strategies. The ecological model of health promotion is the right one for developing initiatives that will help to address the population as a whole. The ecological model usually guides both the organizations and also individuals to follow a sequential method. The first step of the model would be to address the intrapersonal as well as individual factors that influence the behavior in such a way which will help to develop the knowledge, beliefs, attitudes as well as the personality 11. This is important because each and every individual should learn to behave in a way so that will help them to remain safe and healthy. The second factor that the concerned organization should try to address in their campaigns or policies is the interpersonal factors. The concerned authority should mainly provides different methods that will help in interacting with people thereby providing them social support as well as help them in overcoming barriers. These would help the population to develop interpersonal growth which ultimately helps in developing the healthy behavior. The third factor would be to look over the institutional as well as the organizational factors 12. This is mainly done by developing rules, regulation s as well as policies informal structures which will help the people to develop healthy behaviors. In case of National Heritage trust, one can see that they have implemented the third option but have not included the intra personal as well as the interpersonal factors which are also some of the , its important factors needed for health promotion. However, the other two factors that many of the organization shave implemented in their health promotion initiatives are the community factors and the public policy. The national Heritage trust had initiated many community programs following the fourth step for the ecological model of health promotion. The fourth factor called the community factor includes the formal as well as the social norms that need to be present among individuals, groups and organizations in order to limit or enhance the issues. Different governments all over the nation have followed the fifth step the ecological model which states policies provided by the local, state as well as the federal governments which help the population to regulate their actions in way that promotes disease prevention. This includes early detection, control and management.



Two important impact of settlement of population cities are increasing pollution and urban sprawl affecting quality health of the people. Different initiatives have been taken by governments of different nations. Many have become successful while other has failed. Therefore it is advised for the nations and the policy makers to follow the ecological model of health promotion where they will not only help individuals as well as the population to live a health life but will also develop the contributing factors that are resulting in ill health. If both the impacts are managed properly along with proper health promotion initiatives by the governments, people may experience life with better quality.



  1. Kumar, P., Morawska, L., Martani, C., Biskos, G., Neophytou, M., Di Sabatino, S., Bell, M., Norford, L. and Britter, R., 2015. The rise of low-cost sensing for managing air pollution in cities.Environment international, 75, pp.199-205.
  2. Ewing, R., Meakins, G., Hamidi, S. and Nelson, A.C., 2014. Relationship between urban sprawl and physical activity, obesity, and morbidity–update and refinement.Health & place, 26, pp.118-126.
  3. Hamidi, S. and Ewing, R., 2014. A longitudinal study of changes in urban sprawl between 2000 and 2010 in the United States.Landscape and Urban Planning, 128, pp.72-82.
  4. Nazarnia, N., Schwick, C. and Jaeger, J.A., 2016. Accelerated urban sprawl in Montreal, Quebec City, and Zurich: Investigating the differences using time series 1951–2011.Ecological Indicators, 60, pp.1229-1251.
  5. Su, J.G., Apte, J.S., Lipsitt, J., Garcia-Gonzales, D.A., Beckerman, B.S., de Nazelle, A., Texcalac-Sangrador, J.L. and Jerrett, M., 2015. Populations potentially exposed to traffic-related air pollution in seven world cities.Environment international, 78, pp.82-89.
  6. Krzyzanowski, M., Apte, J.S., Bonjour, S.P., Brauer, M., Cohen, A.J. and Prüss-Ustun, A.M., 2014. Air pollution in the mega-cities.Current Environmental Health Reports, 1(3), pp.185-191.
  7. Karagulian, F., Belis, C.A., Dora, C.F.C., Prüss-Ustün, A.M., Bonjour, S., Adair-Rohani, H. and Amann, M., 2015. Contributions to cities' ambient particulate matter (PM): A systematic review of local source contributions at global level.Atmospheric Environment, 120, pp.475-483
  8. Benson, D., Jordan, A. and Smith, L., 2013. Is environmental management really more collaborative? A comparative analysis of putative ‘paradigm shifts’ in Europe, Australia, and the United States.Environment and Planning A, 45(7), pp.1695-1712.
  9. Marsden, S., 2016.Transboundary environmental governance: inland, coastal and marine perspectives. Routledge.
  10. Badland, H., Whitzman, C., Lowe, M., Davern, M., Aye, L., Butterworth, I., Hes, D. and Giles-Corti, B., 2014. Urban liveability: emerging lessons from Australia for exploring the potential for indicators to measure the social determinants of health.Social science & medicine, 111, pp.64-73.
  11. Eldredge, L.K.B., Markham, C.M., Kok, G., Ruiter, R.A. and Parcel, G.S., 2016.Planning health promotion programs: an intervention mapping approach. John Wiley & Sons.
  12. Golden, S.D., McLeroy, K.R., Green, L.W., Earp, J.A.L. and Lieberman, L.D., 2015. Upending the social ecological model to guide health promotion efforts toward policy and environmental change.
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