The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Where on Earth Are We Going to Put the Next Billion People?
By 2030, 1.1 billion more people are expected to be living on Earth—bringing the total to around 8.5 billion.
James Cridland / Flickr
In a new report published in the journal, Nature, authors Richard T. T. Forman, a Harvard University research professor, and Jianguo Wu, a distinguished professor of sustainability science at Arizona State University, said urban expansion alters a city's 'big seven': natural vegetation, agricultural land, clean water, jobs, housing, transport and communities.
Moving forward, the authors argue we need worldwide cooperation on a new approach to planning cities that will house all of these new people and stop our increasingly heavy ecological footprint.
"It will require international and national policies for environmental protection, urban development and human migration. And each city must develop an urban regional plan," the authors wrote.
Aa far as where people can go, Forman and Wu said they see promise in large areas in the Americas, central Africa and Asia as well as pockets of Oceania due to its warm and moist climates suitable for growing crops such as cacao, coffee, palm oil, rice and corn.
They also said metropolitan regions should encourage and develop compact communities—like ones found outside Portland, Oregon, and Canberra, Australia—which provide space for sustainable communities and limits the loss of valuable land.
"Local officials and decision-makers will need policies and incentives to encourage sustainable development in these zones, particularly in rural villages, which tend to empty out as residents move to cities for work," the authors said.
The idea and execution of city planning, they said, should be reversed to focus on building structures around valuable natural resources, not on top of them.
"Society must think globally, plan regionally, then act locally," the authors concluded.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Trump administration is rolling back protections for endangered California fish species, a move long sought by a group of wealthy farmers that Interior Secretary David Bernhardt continued to lobby for months before he began working for the administration, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
By Gretchen Goldman
The Independent Particulate Matter Review Panel has released their consensus recommendations to the EPA administrator on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter. The group of 20 independent experts, that were disbanded by Administrator Wheeler last October and reconvened last week, hosted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, has now made clear that the current particulate pollution standards don't protect public health and welfare.
By Julia Ries
- Antibiotic resistance has doubled in the last 20 years.
- Additionally a new study found one patient developed resistance to a last resort antibiotic in a matter of weeks.
- Health experts say antibiotic prescriptions should only be given when absolutely necessary in order to avoid growing resistance.
Over the past decade, antibiotic resistance has emerged as one of the greatest public health threats.