Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Where on Earth Are We Going to Put the Next Billion People?

Popular
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.

Watch here:

Could mouthwash help stop the spread of the new coronavirus? Craig F. Walker / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Could mouthwash help stop the spread of the new coronavirus?

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

This turtle dove is part of Operation Turtle Dove; the European Commission estimates there may be fewer than 5,000 pairs left in the UK. Ian / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Naomi Larsson

For centuries, the delicate silver dove has been a symbol of love and fidelity.

Read More Show Less

Trending

We pet owners know how much you love your pooch. It's your best friend. It gives you pure happiness and comfort when you're together. But there are times that dogs can be very challenging, especially if they are suffering from a certain ailment. As a dog owner, all you want to do is ease whatever pain or discomfort your best friend is feeling.

Read More Show Less
Swimming alongside an animatronic dolphin, a person learns about hydrodynamics. Edge Innovations

Life-sized, ultra-realistic robotic dolphins could help end animal captivity by replacing living creatures in aquariums and theme parks.

Read More Show Less
A Stop the Money Pipeline protester holds a banner outside JP Morgan headquarters in NYC on Feb. 25, 2020; JP Morgan is a top contributor to the fossil fuel industry. Erik McGregor / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Green groups applauded Sen. Jeff Merkley on Wednesday for introducing a pioneering pair of bills that aim to "protect the long-term health and well-being of the American people and their economy from the catastrophic effects of climate chaos" by preventing banks and international financial institutions from financing fossil fuels.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch