Urbanization & Deforestation


Rapid urbanization and increased deforestation are phenomena that causes threat to the environment. What are the main three causes of rapid urbanization and how can we prevent (or reduce) deforestation to protect such valuable assets for future generations. Give examples from the US or different parts of the world to support your argument.

24 thoughts on “Urbanization & Deforestation

  1. Deforestation and its effects on greenhouse gas emissions are outcomes of economic activity and rapid urbanization, whether it be by rural farmers, corporate entities, or city customers. Cities lie at the root of tree felling and changes in land use and can aggregately increase carbon dioxide levels. Urbanization drives deforestation in many ways. First, rural migrants see the city as a perceived increase of standard of living and wage and are eager to move to the city to have a better life. This rural-urban migration by Harris Todaro confirms that the perception of wage differentials draws workers to cities. This results in lifestyle shifts from a diet of starch staples to processed foods and animal products that inherently drives land clearance for livestock and agriculture. Secondly, with the influx of migrants, cities are required to expand into natural habitats, like forests. With the cutting of trees, there is a release of carbon found in its biomass. Lastly, enterprise-driven deforestation by lumber companies for paper products like tissue paper, pencils, furniture, etc are always being consumed by the growing population in the cities.
    The three most effective ways to prevent or reduce deforestation in my opinion are as follows. First, starting with the grassroots level of sensitization and education, initiating awareness that is shared through personal stories can be incredibly powerful. Ensuring that our youth understands the harmful effects deforestation has on communities and the ecosystem it nourishes is essential. Next, joint organization of all cross-sectoral groups that have an interest in saving the forests can be influential actors in the preservation of trees. Lastly, increasing support for “green” businesses that reduce, reuse, and recycle and rely less on trees can make a significant difference. The benefits of these strategies are threefold: ensuring that citizens are educated on the issue, capable of joining an organization to act against deforestation, and support a green business as their supplier are viable solutions to ensuring that corporations who seek to cut down trees are put out of business.
    Since I was a little girl, every summer my family and I have camped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I’ve been a visitor to Sequoia National Park nearly 10 times in my life and everytime I visit those large, beautiful trees I have always been curious as to how these trees became preserved. The Sequoia trees are the largest trees in the world with averages up to 300 feet in height and 29 feet in diameter. These trees are icons of America’s beauty and have been regarded worldwide. Although John Muir was the first person to extensively study and travel in the Giant Sequoia groves, a journalist named George Stewart became the first person to actively broadcast the concerns of the valley farmers and a new group of citizens who would come to be known as “preservationists.” His first approach to the issue was to propose a ban on cutting Giant Sequoias, an idea which failed, but later on September 25th, 1890, Sequoia National Park was born and no longer could loggers or ranchers cut down the trees. This model of using the federal government to stop the development of forests is still the most common means of preservation today. However, without the help of preservation and conservation groups like the NGO Sierra Club or the activism of Pinchot or Muir to political leaders like Teddy Roosevelt, the National Forest and Park Service would not be present today.

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  2. One main cause of urbanization is consumption. Consumerism is a quickly growing issue in many places of the world, as income is getting larger and people are having more money to spend. People are wanting more clothing, more food, and more cars among many other things. As people are wanting more, population is also growing at the same time. To meet the demands of population growth and consumerism, more people are moving to places where they can have easy access to things like grocery stores, home-goods, malls, and restaurants to name a few. To meet the demand for people consuming more, there is a demand for more buildings so that more items can be made, or more businesses can have store fronts. As more buildings are created, less and less “free” space is available for humans and other creatures. This is something that many generations of people living in the US have experienced, myself included. Whenever I go to my hometown, there is almost always some new shopping center or business development in an area that used to be wild fields.
    As I stated above, an effect of consumption is urban migration, which is another main cause of rapid urbanization and deforestation. More people are moving out of rural areas and into cities because that is where the potential to make more money is. As quoted from Prugh, “Under current trends in population and urban growth, the number of people in cities is projected the rise by nearly 3 billion by 2050, and the area covered by urban zones is projected to expand by more than 1.2 million square kilometers between 2000 and 2030.” As more people move into the cities, more land is needed to build more housing and stores to support the influx of people. Apart from the land, more natural resources are needed to support the growing cities such as wood, water, crops, and energy sources such as coal and biofuels; all of this contributes to increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, worsening the effects of global warming. One country that has had a lot of deforestation due to population growth and demand for more resources is Indonesia, who lost 25% of its forested land during the 1990-2005 period.
    Another main driver of urbanization is enterprise-driven deforestation. Due to natural resources naturally having no specified owner, this has allowed for many people to make huge profits from them. In places where there are specified owners of the land, large corporations will offer the landowners a large sum of money for the land, or even force landowners off so that they can profit. In Indonesia, compensation had been promised to small landowners by a large mining company, who deforested much of the land to build a new mine. As of 2002, compensation hadn’t been given for over 18,000 acres of land (Down to Earth 2002). More and more indigenous people are having their land taken away from them without compensation, just so a big company can profit, regardless of the environmental damage that may be caused.
    Although there are many ways to prevent more environmental damage in the future such as reforestation, eco forestry, and green business, I feel like the biggest way to solve the issue is through education. If you educate people on what is happening, and you show them the raw truth, then maybe they will want to make a change. Even if they can’t stop deforestation, they can choose where they spend their money and only buy sustainable products. Education can even involve teaching someone how to change their diet to be more plant based, because heavy meat and dairy diets are tough on the environment. When you educate people you help to empower them, and when people are empowered then they feel like can stand up and take part in minimizing deforestation and rapid urbanization.

    Prugh, T. (2016). Rural-Urban Migration, Lifestyle, and Deforestation. In The World Watch Institute (Ed.), Can a City Be Sustainable? (pp. 263–272). Islan Press.
    Down to Earth. (2002). BP’s coal interest: Kaltim Prima. Retrieved from http://www.downtoearth-indonesia.org/story/bps-coal-interest-kaltim-prima

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  3. MARCH 02

    Urbanization, the physical growth of urban areas has many reason but the three main ones are: The opportunity for better living wage or economic growth, better social benefits and services and the modernization of a society .
    Economic growth or the opportunity for better wages has brought many people to live in urban areas or relocate in cities. Cities have a rapid economic growth because of the demand in the job market. In China for example, there has been a major exodus of people that used to live in rural areas to main cities like Shanghai and Hong Kong due to the major growth of the middle income in families that has surge in the last few years The main reason for this exodus is an increase in higher paying tech and service industry jobs. Jobs, That according to the firm McKinsey & company 76% of china’s population will be considered middle class by 2022 (us 9,000- 34,000) by comparison in 2012 the average wage for middle class was (US 9,000 – 16,000)for this reason people decide to live in urban cities major expected economic growth in family households is a great incentive.
    The second reason is the opportunities to have better social services and benefits. This has brought many people in to live in cities since hospitals and social services are better in cities. People commute miles and miles away from home in rural areas just to access a hospital or social services. People that want to have better medical care or are sick decide to the leave the rural areas to be near those services that sometimes have to even forego due to the difficulty of accessing them. The third and last reason is modernization . This reason has brought opportunities for people to enjoy living in a technology advanced society that has made living in cities more attractive than ever before. Shanghai is a coastal modern mega city in eastern China. Shanghai has the highest population density in China with 9 districts it is estimated than 15 thousand inhabitants live per square kilometer. Shanghai has many attractive reasons of why people live in it but a great night life for young and old has the advantage on other cities. . From high cuisine dining to clubs and modern galleries make the city highly prized to live in it. The Many ways residents can enjoy their free time make Shanghai a favorable place to live in.
    Smart urban planning is the right tool that cities must adhere in trying to cope with rapid urbanization and avoid deforestation The best bet in how to accomodate the rapid growth of population is with urban infill development. Many American cities have had success by building on areas that are already been developed but the one that comes to mind is the city of San Antonio Texas.The new ordinance called the infill zone overlay district has given San Antonio the award called “SMART Infill Awards for 2015”.
    With more urban planning development done with infill we avoid the deforestation needed in the process of clearing land for the construction of homes and other infrastructure needed for the support of human urbanization.





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  4. Rapid urbanization has contributed greatly to deforestation. Industrialization is one main cause of rapid urbanization. Cities/urban areas have more employment opportunities and thus attract more people. People are also attracted to better social services that are offered in urban versus rural areas. These social services may include better quality sanitation and housing and/or higher quality schools and health care. Overall, the higher quality of life is what attracts people to urban areas. There are also higher rates of consumption and consumerism in urban areas. The need for more buildings for more people along with the need for more goods means more pressure is being placed on forests. Forests are being cut down for their wood to build buildings, furniture, toys, etc. Thus, rapid urbanization equates to more consumers and more deforestation.
    There are many solutions that can be used to combat deforestation. One such solution is being funded by the Forest and Family Facility (FFF), which was created by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). FFF funds partnerships between Indigenous peoples and local, regional and international governments. In 2015, they had funded collaborations in Zambia, Gambia, Liberia, and Kenya, which helped many farmers and cut down on deforestation in these countries. Liberian farmers were raising honeybees which helped with pollination. They also participated in “selective wood conservation.” These partnerships have taken previously disenfranchised indigenous communities and given them the power to manage and maintain forests. On the FAO’s website, they state that “vital ecosystem services, natural resources and invaluable biodiversity is often being endangered or forever lost” due to deforestation or mismanagement of the world’s forests. Evidence shows that local control, by collaborating with indigenous peoples to maintain these forests, is beneficial in preventing deforestation. Since their inception in 2012, they have funded partnerships in ten countries; Bolivia, Guatemala, Gambia, Kenya, Liberia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and Zambia.
    The creation of these partnerships has not only helped indigenous populations, but helped in combating climate change. Deforestation contributes to climate change because as more trees are cut down, it leaves fewer trees to take in the carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that contributes to the warming of the planet. The FFF’s efforts have made large contributions to combating climate change, deforestation, and the social injustices that indigenous peoples face.


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  5. Where is the Progress that Everyone talks about?
    The factors driving deforestation in the 21st century have changed, and are linked to the growth of cities and international agricultural exchanges. Deforestation, along with urbanization, is one of the most serious problems of the last decades, especially since it is known that it can exacerbate climate change. This is based on several aspects. Forests are the habitat for both a variety of animal species and different local communities. Others, more global, regard the importance that forests have in the world economy and disposal of carbon dioxide released into the planet. Forests are the natural home of biodiversity, house of innumerable species of flora and fauna whose existence depends entirely on the forest. This is an important element that must be taken into consideration when it comes to affect the ecosystem to use its resources. The challenge for many countries is to be able to exploit part of the forest resources by responding to the growing demand without altering or utterly destroying them.

    Another important point to show concerns the use of forests as an economic resource. The turnover related to the cutting and marketing of forests products is estimated at around $200 billion a year. In addition to wood products, forests provide a wide variety of food products, such as fruits, resins, medicines, spices, cosmetics, and other products on which more than 80% of the population depend on. One last part that needs to be taken into consideration is that forests are considered as the earth’s “green lung”. Forests play a fundamental role in the “carbon cycle”, as chlorophyll photosynthesis is the only process that allows the conversion of carbon dioxide into oxygen. According to estimates by the Stern’s report, we could reduce the carbon dioxide concentration in our atmosphere by only 20% by reversing the trend of deforestation in reforestation (Betts, Gornall, Hughes, Kaye, McNeall, and Wiltshire 2008).

    The causes of deforestation are various, and are now imputable both to developing and industrialized countries. Even if deforestation happens for sundry reasons, let’s categorize them into three main ones: creating lands for cultivation and grazing (agriculture), meeting the demand for wood for construction or other uses (creating infrastructures), and lastly giving space to road and cities (urban expansion). These can be considered as the three main causes for this rapid urbanization and deforestation. For solutions to these three main causes I will use the three Rs: Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse. However, to find solutions to these three causes, it is first appropriate to analyze each one of them.

    The first cause, as previously noted, is the due to the need for new cultivable areas. In developing countries deforestation is a direct consequence of the need to create new lands for crops. A large part of the world’s population still lives under a subsistence economy, such as agriculture. According to a study funded by the British ad Norwegian governments, without the constant need of new crops, eight trees out of ten could be saved. This means that the need for more cultivable areas is not a real necessity. We are led to believe that we need an excessive amount of new crops by monopolies. An example here is seen by South America, where soy or cereal crops are in the hands of few multinationals. The WWF (World Wildlife Fund), warned by the alarming concentration of power of these MNCs, brings together various companies to manage more locally the goods produced in the land. Another example to sustain this argument is given by the increasing number of people deciding to go vegetarian due to deforestation. Raising cattle that end up on our plates it takes space; therefore it requires deforestation to happen. A solution to this problem would be to alleviate the extensive power of multinationals that chase profit, give it to the locals, and educate on the real necessity of food and crops. This can all be summarized into –Reducing-.

    The second cause is the need for wood and timber in general as a fuel. Timber is still the raw material par excellence as a fuel and as a basic construction component. On this issue, from my point of view, the only solution is to recycle. It is true that man has always used wood, since it is an easily retrievable and workable material. However, we always talk about the progress that our world’s population has made throughout history. The word progress is used many times to excuse many acts, such as deforestation in our case. To advance we need to cut trees, so that we can build new infrastructures and devices to work with. Nevertheless, I do not understand why we call it progress if we cannot understand as a society that what we do is more harmful rather than being directed to a positive progress. I will call it progress when I see numerous companies working towards technologies to recycle and reuse the materials we already harvested from the planet.

    The whole history of humanity is linked to the existence of forests. We developed from the great ancient civilizations to the point where we find ourselves today thanks to the materials that the forests kindly “offered”. This delicate balance of sustainable exploitation, although, broke in the past. The slow but steady growth of the population has in fact changed in size in recent decades. To date, about 30% of the world surface is covered by degraded forests, and only a 7% is occupied by intact primary forests. In all this, Brazil is the best example of how we can intervene in a dynamic of deforestation and it has been able to reduce it considerably. To conclude, I want to point out that deforestation is not an irreversible process. If you allow them enough time, and if the soil has not been irreparably rendered sterile by polluting substance, the cut forests can grow back. This with a collective actions by governments, individuals, and multinationals, could be sufficient to stern the problem of deforestation and its consequences.

    Citations –
    o Betts , Richard , Jemma Gornall, John Hughes, Neil Kaye, Doug McNeall, and Andy Wiltshire. “Office of Climate Change, UK – Publications.” , UK – Publications. July 9, 2008. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20091116110027/http://www.occ.gov.uk/publications/index.htm.
    o Bertaglio, Andrea. “Agricoltura, prima causa della deforestazione globale e dei gas serra.” Il Fatto Quotidiano. October 03, 2012. https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2012/10/03/agricoltura-prima-causa-della-deforestazione-globale-e-dellemissione-di-gas-serra/371131/.
    o Hance, Jeremy Leon. “La deforestazione sta diminuendo. Oppure no? · Global Voices in Italiano.” Global Voices in Italiano. February 23, 2016. https://it.globalvoices.org/2016/02/la-deforestazione-sta-diminuendo-oppure-no/.

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  6. Rory Lapham
    Professor Gohar
    Global Environmental Crisis
    March 1, 2018
    Weekly Paper 5
    As a superior intelligent species on earth, humans have been able to develop more technologically advanced habitual communities than any other species on earth. Unfortunately, this prosperity has cause much damage on the surface and atmosphere of earth, for creating cities requires construction, which arises from destruction, all through a process known as urbanization. Examples include clearing and leveling landscapes in order to have a proper foundation, or mining and cutting down trees for material to construct.
    Urbanization is when area’s city population and activity are rising or expanding. Three main causes of urbanization include, industrialization, commercialization, and creating social benefits and services.
    When industry is introduced and supported in a given area, it tends to attract people for job opportunity to be financially stable, which will usually result in an increased demand for housing nearby. On a fiscal observation, industrialization also shifts away from being an agricultural economy, and will focus on having food needs being imported rather than locally available.
    Commercialization is having goods and services readily available through transaction. This makes human consumption much easier and efficient which appears attractive to a majority of individuals when deciding where to live.
    And the third main cause for urbanization is the social benefits and services a location provides. Many desire to move to places that have great living standards, sanitation, socialization, healthcare, and recreation, these are part of the city councils’ goals to address in order to improve the quality of their city and make it appear attractive to future residents.
    One of the greatest predicaments that urbanization creates is deforestation for construction materials. This only not destroys the home of other species, but also could create such events as flooding, drought, low air quality, global warming, etc. Some methods to battle deforestation is to limit purchases of wood and paper products, lower meat consumption to prevent heavy cattle ranching, buy food locally, recycle, etc. Brazil has enforced new policies and regulations with their rainforests, which in recent years has cut the deforestation rate in half. The president had also created conservation areas that have protecting units guarding them. And using more efficient bio fuel has also had impact in slowing the rate of deforestation.

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  7. Rapid Urbanization and Deforestation

    Three causes that lead to rapid urbanization and deforestation are: rural-to-urban migration, consumption, and enterprise-driven profit. One example of this in the world is Indonesia. The population in Indonesia has doubled within the last 40 years from 119 million in 1971, to almost 240 million in 2010, with predictions from the Central Statistics Agency of it continually growing over the next 40 years (I.P., 2018). Indonesia’s largest city Jakarta, is the 14th most populated city on earth and part of a metropolitan area, known as Jabodetabek. Jabodetabek is not only one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas, but the third largest in the world with a population of over 30 million (I.P,2018).

    With this population growth there is a demand on resources and jobs to support life. Not only is there the need of the locals, but also a high global demand from consumer societies to be filled. From this, agricultural and timber commodity have emerged as the primary driver of tropical deforestation (Carlson, 2017). With high levels of corruption, Indonesia has the highest rate of increasing forest cover loss from 2000 to 2012, making deforestation one of their most pressing environmental issues (Eldeeb, 2015). According to UNEP, production areas devoted to palm oil belong to the most significant contributors of rain forest destruction in Indonesia. With most of the deforested land being transformed into palm tree plantations, it is necessary to examine a relationship between deforestation and the palm trees plantation (Eldeeb, 2015).

    Palm oil is the most commonly produced palm and has one of the highest yields when compared to other crops. With it being one of the cheapest to produce and refine of oils, it is a lucrative crop (Eldeeb, 2015). This not only leaves it vulnerable to corruption, but unsustainable practices looking only to increase profit. The deforestation in Indonesia not only possess a significant threat locally through biodiversity reduction, but also contributes to the increased emissions and reduction of sequestration of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, one of the main causes of global warming (Eldeeb, 2015).

    Many major corporations and countries have made commitments to purchase or produce only “sustainable” palm oil, but a study showed certified areas held less than 1% of forests remaining within Indonesian oil palm plantations. It is believed broader adoption of certification in forested regions, along with routine monitoring of clearly defined forest cover loss in member-held plantations be necessary if the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is to yield conservation and climate benefits from reductions in tropical deforestation (Carlson, 2017). A significant increase of certification on deforestation could create greater forest protection.

    -Carlson, Kimberly (2017, March). Effect of oil palm sustainability certification on deforestation and fire in Indonesia.
    – Eldeeb, Osama (2015, November) Causes for Deforestation in Indonesia: Corruption and Palm Tree Plantation
    -Indonesia Population 2018. (n.d.). Retrieved March 03, 2018, from http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/indonesia-population/

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  8. There is this widespread belief that the city is where opportunity lies, better jobs access to better health care and education. Now this belief isn’t false however, this can leads to the mass migration of people from rural areas to urban areas. However, urbanization can also occur when cities expand into more rural areas to keep up with their growing population. When looking at urbanization everything is connected, mass migration of people which is due to job opportunity within cities, which then causes cities expand into rural areas to keep up with the cities growing population. Deforestation, in some cases is due to economic trends, growth and population demand for my food which is due in part to rapid urbanization. In other cases its due to the need to simply survive. Such as, the burning of trees for cooking purposes which happens in the majority of Sub-Saharan nations. , When looking at methods to reverse these harmful practices it is important to understand that these communities do not do this out of economic gain unlike other areas. More so this practice is survival based, therefore in order to reverse it we must either replace completely the fuel that is used to cook or in the case of Tanzania plant trees that grow at a fast rate to meet the needs of the people and alter the cooking methods for a cleaner cooking style. This project was done over a 9 year time span and over those 9 years 6.4 million trees were planted.
    In order to reverse deforestation trees must be planted, but in a strategic way. Like in the case of Tanzania with the Australian eucalyptus trees they planted to survive as firewood for cooking allowing other trees to grow in the region without being cut down. Or in the case of the Green Wall Project, with the planting of not just trees but vegetables as well allowing for a more diverse landscape creating a space for a vaster ecosystem that may not only sustain on its own over time but allow for communities to survive and economically prosper off the land without harming it.

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  9. Urbanization is a significant, flourishing worldwide phenomena which has been shown to cause increasingly integral environmental issues. More than half of the world lives in cities, and the number of ‘supercities’ with populations of more than 10 million has risen from 3 in 1975 to around 20 today. These large cities are hotspots for emissions that have serious implications for air pollution and climate change, as well as for vital resources such as water and soil quality. These impacts are felt not just locally, but regionally and globally. I believe the top three reasons urbanization occurs are: increase in human population, increase in technology, and the human need to congregate and create communities. Since the industrial revolution and the rise of globalized capitalism, humans have continually innovated in the field of urban development; for example, cement has revolutionized and galvanized the developers of the world and allowed them to create enormous structures cheaply and reliably. This increase of the technology behind urban development has certainly contributed to rapid urbanization. Next, the human need to socialize and congregate is also a huge driving factor in capitalism; we want factory workers living closer to the factory, etc. Lastly, population projections have shown that by 2050, the global population will rise to nearly 10 billion. This population increase paired with the immense knowledge in urban development and capitalist push to move closer to centers of work have made urbanization a rapid trend.

    However, we must consider the environmental effects of this global rapid urbanization. With the world population climbing at a seemingly exponential rate, there is an increased need for space to occupy all of these inhabitants. When there is a desperate need for land for agricultural, industrial and most importantly cities and their growing population, deforestation occurs. Deforestation in simple term means the felling and clearing of forest cover or tree plantations in order to accommodate agricultural, industrial or urban use. It involves permanent end of forest cover to make that land available for residential, commercial or industrial purpose.What makes deforestation alarming is the immediate and long term effects it is bound to inflict if continued at the current pace. Some predictions state that the rainforests of the world will be destroyed completely if deforestation continues at its current pace.

    Again, the problem with deforestation is that there is no international accord on how to protect our forests. While more developed countries may be taking the necessary steps to ensure that forests and entire ecosystems are not wiped out, the less developed areas in the world (that desperately need the space in order to continue developing as a country) have no boundaries between them and their forests.

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  10. As urbanization increases, deforestation has become more prominent in order to meet the demands of growing city populations. The clearing of forest areas have negative impacts on our environment because those areas provide critical ecosystem services and habitat for species. Trees have the ability to control global warming because they regulate greenhouse gases within the atmosphere (Gohar, 2018). Three main causes of rapid urbanization are consumption, rural-to-urban migration, and enterprise-driven deforestation. While deforestation is influenced by those aspects, deforestation needs to be mitigated in order to secure valuable assets provided by forests for future generations.

    Urban Consumption
    Urbanization has increased overall consumption by populations and has led to further pollution in urban environments. Urban consumers tend to consume more in terms of food, energy, water, land and material goods than rural consumers. Specifically, studies have shown higher consumption of animal products in urban areas. For example, during the 1970s in China, urban populations consumed double the amount of pork than rural populations who were raising pigs (Torrey, 2004).
    While urban inhabitants are not directly clear-cutting forests, the way in which they consume is causing deforestation to occur. Because urbanization raises consumption levels of people, the demand for agricultural products increases. Agricultural processes require vasts amount of land to grow food or raise animals which means deforestation will occur to meet the growing demands of urban consumers (Gohar, 2018).

    Rural Inhabitants Migration to Urban Areas
    Urban migration is influenced by rural populations’ desire for the benefits they can receive from urban environments such as greater opportunities for education, health care, and other miscellaneous services (Torrey, 2004). As rural inhabitants’ migration to urban centers escalates, their migration increases stress on the environment such as natural resources, urban forests, and public spaces. In the article, “China’s New Generation of Urban Migrants, by Peter Farrar, Farrar explains that China has experienced a vast amount of urban migration, as he states,
    Between 1990 and the end of 2015 the proportion of China’s population living in urban areas jumped from 26 percent to 56 percent, and there are currently estimated to be more than 200 million rural migrants working in China’s biggest cities” (Farrar, 2016).
    Farrar explains that there has been a significant increase in the migration of rural inhabitants to urban areas within China. Many rural migrants in China are migrating for work-related reasons. While the majority of these migrants plan to live in the cities only temporarily and return to their rural areas, their children will most likely seek work in the city once they’ve completed their education (Farrar, 2016). This increase in urban migration will cause greater pressure on the environment because of the growing city populations. This could potentially lead to further development of urban areas which could lead to greater deforestation along with greater urban consumption.

    Deforestation For Corporate Interest

    The clear-cutting of forests by corporations is influenced by their desire to increase profits. Products from deforestation consist of cattle, palm oil, soy, and timber. Many consumer products such as beauty, hygiene, and food products can be linked to deforestation (Werber, 2016). For example, in Papua, an island province of Indonesia largely covered with rainforest, is used for the production of palm oil and logging. In the article, “Video: The devastating deforestation of Papua for the palm oil industry, from above,” by Cassie Werber, Werber explains the implications of palm oil, as she states,
    Palm oil, an ingredient in half of all packaged foods worldwide, has a bad reputation…it’s associated with the clearing of virgin rainforest to make way for plantations, threatening wildlife and wreaking environmental destruction (Werber, 2016).
    The company Korindo is responsible for the major deforestation in Papua. To construct plantations in Papua, rainforests need to be cleared to dedicate land for the crop. While there are economic benefits to palm oil production, wildlife loses habitat and environmental resources are permanently lost.

    Forests For Future Generations
    In response to deforestation, communities need to educate the public and get local communities involved in community forestry. By educating urban areas about deforestation and consumption habits, people can become more aware about the products they consume. For example, by someone eating less packaged foods from companies that source their commodities from deforested areas, and consuming a plant-based diet can directly contribute to their impact on global deforestation.

    In addition to transforming consumption habits, communities need to adopt community forestry. Forests can be better managed and preserved by having community members involved in their local government and public institutions such as schools which engage in tree planting programs and ensure their forests are protected.


    Farrar, P. (2016).China’s New Generation of Urban Migrants. Retrieved from https://thediplomat.com/2016/06/chinas-new-generation-of-urban-migrants/

    Gohar, A. (2018). Urbanization and Deforestation. [pdf]

    Torrey, B. B. (2004). Urbanization: An Environmental Force to Be Reckoned With. Population Reference Bureau.

    Werber. C. (2016). The world’s biggest forest destroyers don’t even know which forests they’re destroying. Retrieved from https://qz.com/850320/companies-responsible-for-the-worlds-deforestation-dont-even-know-which-forests-theyre-destroying/

    Werber. C. (2016).Video: The devastating deforestation of Papua for the palm oil industry, from above. Retrieved from https://qz.com/770674/video-the-devastating-deforestation-of-papua-for-the-palm-oil-industry-from-above/

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  11. The current trend of Urbanization is increasing demand on natural resources and negative human environmental impacts around the globe. In my opinion, the primary factor that contributes to urbanization is population growth, which leads to cultural and consumption changes. I do not believe much can be done to stop the rise in Urbanization, but do think certain strategies can be adopted to lessen the negative effects on the environment such as deforestation.

    The primary cause for urbanization around the globe is population growth. The world population in 1970 was around 3.7 billion people. Today, the world’s population is around 7.6 billion. Population growth is expected to continue with the United Nations projecting the world’s population to hit 11.8 billion by the year 2100. As a result of population growth, people have to shift from rural to urban systems of living, because rural systems of living simply cannot support such large increases in population. However, while the world’s population is likely to continue growing, there might be some light at the end of the tunnel. The shift from rural to urban lifestyles is generally accompanied by population growth, yet populations tend to decline as increased levels of health care, education, and living standards are experienced by urbanized societies. Rural cultures are dependent on having a lot of kids for agricultural reasons and high child mortality rates. However, urbanization happens quickly, whereas cultural changes tend to take generations to change. For example, when countries like the United States, Europe, and Japan were comprised of more rural based societies they had high birth rates. But, birth rates fell as the countries experienced increases in health, education, and living standards.. The same process is likely to hold true for regions of the world still developing. Therefore, one strategy could be working to improve things like education and healthcare to combat rapid population growth.

    Population growth might eventually begin to taper, yet changes in culture due to urbanization will continue regardless. Urbanization will put increased demand on forest as wood will be needed for building material and land for agriculture. Most areas that are currently undergoing urbanization are obtaining wood for building and land for agriculture through clear cutting forest. These activities will not be eliminated, but the negative impacts can be greatly reduced through eco forestry and innovations in agriculture. In the United States logging continues today, but is practiced using sustainable techniques, such as selective logging or reforesting areas after they have been cut. Selective logging removes some tree within a forest, but not all.This method essentially removes enough trees for use while still allowing the forest to remain. On the other hand, reforestation is where sections of a forest are cut down, but then replanted afterwords. Similar to agricultural techniques, this method replenishes forest after logging, so they can be logged again years later. Reforestation provides future sources for logging while retaining the beneficial aspects of forest in the meantime.

    Deforestation will also occur to meet the demands of increased agriculture as urbanization occurs. Large populations in urban areas will require more food than rural forms of agriculture can provide. As a result, forest will be cut down to make room for large scale fields of crops. Like logging, I do not believe this process can be stopped, but the amount of deforestation can be reduced through increased productivity. In many developing regions agriculture is not conducted efficiently. Space, technology, and methods are poorly used. As a result, large farms with low productivity can produce less products than a small farm using efficient techniques. Therefore, I believe all should be done to increase output of existing agriculture to limit expansion of agricultural lands into forested regions. This can be accomplished through planning such as choosing to grow crops that are best suited for a region. Increased use of technology to help monitor crops and detect problems early. For example, using drones and sensors to detect dry areas that need water or infected areas that need pesticide.

    I think ecoforestry and efficient agriculture are important to limiting deforestation, but perhaps the most important strategy to the problem is education and changing the culture that comes with urbanization. As urbanization occurs, culture shifts from basic subsistence to large scale consumption. People in urban areas consume more food and use more products than rural peoples. I do not think increases in consumption can be stopped, but some of the excesses can be limited through educating the public on benefits of recycling and reducing waste. For example, something as simple as reducing package materials of products can go a long way to limiting the amount of deforestation.

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  12. The three main causes of rapid urbanization are population growth, the economic benefits of living near industrial centers, and the increase in large industry over small businesses. Although natural resources are already stretched thin, the world’s population continues to grow. The roughly 7.4 billion people alive today represent 6.5% of all the humans who have ever been born (Roser and Ortiz-Ospina), 2017. This statistic should provide perspective on why in recent decades we’ve experienced such a dramatic change in environmental resources, including forests. Although there are moral difficulties with controlling birth and death rates, we can prevent overpopulation by encouraging family planning through better education or increased access to women’s health clinics. Studies in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Ghana have established a connection between higher education for women and fewer children, from six kids down to two or three (Pradhan, 2015). Smaller families could lead to improved lives for the next generation by curbing urbanization and deforestation, ensuring a clean environment and safety from natural disasters brought on by climate change.
    Cities are seen as a place with plenty of wealth to go around, where anyone can get ahead and make a decent living. More skills are utilized in industrial centers because there are more opportunities for highly specialized professionals. This has caused a migration from the country to the city, contributing to the accelerated urbanization witnessed today. This is called a “pull” factor, indicating that there are amenities in the city that entice people who otherwise would live in a rural setting. “Push” factors are negative influences that drive people away from the country, like increased competition from corporations. Especially in the food business, large businesses (such as Monsanto) are obliterating well-established family businesses and making the climate extremely unfavorable for local farms or stores who can’t compete with lower prices offered by big companies. Small farms that used to exist in the countryside are run aground and those farmers are forced to find a new source of income, usually in the city. The mixed developed and undeveloped land that marks the countryside becomes part of the urban sprawl or agriculture land. Either way, natural features, especially forests, are destroyed with no regard for the overall environmental impacts.

    Pradhan, Elina. “Female Education and Childbearing: A Closer Look at the Data.” Investing in Health, The World Bank, 3 Dec. 2015, blogs.worldbank.org/health/female-education-and-childbearing-closer-look-data.
    Roser, Max, and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina. “World Population Growth.” Our World in Data, Apr. 2017, ourworldindata.org/world-population-growth#recent-history-and-projections.

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  13. The three main causes of rapid urbanization are: migration from rural to urban areas, the rural urban transformation, and the lack of decentralization of social services and benefits.
    Migration to urban areas is one of the most important causes of rapid urbanization and is also related to the other causes mentioned. Urban areas both in developed and developing countries represent the hub of economic activities and social services. Therefore, people in rural areas tend to move closer to those areas to engage in economic activities, and take advantage of some of social benefits such as better education, and health services. The bottom line is people move from rural to have more income, and a better wellbeing (according to dominant narrative. In some cases, urban areas are better because the ecosystem haven’t suffered drastic changes, there is less pollution etc.).
    The second cause is the rural urban transformation, that is also related to a certain extent to the first cause. Because people migrate to urban areas to have a “better life”, urban areas tend to be overpopulated. For some governments, a way to decrease that rural exodus is to urbanize rural areas by turning them into cities with more schools, universities, financial institutions etc. Most of the time, such transformation happens after discovery of resources in those areas. Hence, people adopt the urban lifestyle and more people start moving into those new cities. It is important to mention that it is not necessarily a negative cause, however it comes with its limits as areas that could serve for farming or agricultural lands are turned into infrastructures for schools, banks etc.
    The last cause is the lack of decentralization of social services and benefits to rural areas. Because people in rural areas lack the social services—that are way better in urban areas than rural, they tend to move to urban areas or even see their rural areas changed into urban. There is a neglect of rural areas from governments that causes an increase in population in urban areas, and therefore a need of more extensive urbanization. Now, if social services and benefits such as health care, transportation systems, schools are fairly implemented in rural areas and the quality of the services are close enough to those in urban areas, urbanization can actually decrease/slow down. People will no longer need to move to the city and they could keep their rural areas intact while having the benefits of urban areas.
    There is an enormous amount of solution to reduce or prevent deforestation that have proven to be efficient. First and foremost is to create campaigns to educate people on the issue and how deforestation is a serious problem. A good campaign would be to show the role of deforestation in climate change and how some simple steps, such as one planted tree for one tree cut can have a minimum impact. Second, is to turn these campaigns into national, then regional and finally international. There are several programs for done by NGO in where people volunteer to go abroad and engage in reforestation or afforestation such as African Impact that sends volunteers in Zimbabwe. Finally, reforestation itself led by the members of one community in association with other groups such as NGO can also help reduce deforestation. A successful example is the Kwimba Reforestation Program in Tanzania. The project started in the 1990’s and had two phases: Phase 1 targeted 20 villages but because of its success, it was implemented and funded to reach 20 more villages. More than 6.4 million trees were planted over nine years by and for the community. Their survival rate varied between 75% in drought years to 90 in good years. The most important benefit of this program was long term. people in the community started realizing the importance of trees and changed their habits to take that into greater consideration by building and using improved stove, creating a community school tree nursery.
    There are a lot of examples that people can use also in Mexico, Brasil, Sub-Saharan Africa that are sustainable and can reduce or eliminate deforestation.

    Click to access 039814-18.pdf


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  14. Rapid urbanization is an ever present threat that the environment faces every day. Due to the ever growing demands of human beings, we are constantly requiring more and more environmental space in order to facilitate the ever growing population and the needs of that population. This in turn causes great strain on the environment and can lead to habitat destruction and ecological displacement.
    There are many various reasons as to why and how rapid urbanization occurs; however, there are three main reasons why rapid urbanization is so widespread on our planet. The first concept which is a leading cause of rapid urbanization is human urbanization and consumption. Because of the ever progressive nature of human society, urbanization is an extremely attractive and favorable method of humanity as it leads to many amenities and services not found in rural or other human environmental living styles. One such service provided due to urbanization is the widespread availability of processed foods and animal products. Because of this, people living in urban areas tend to consumer larger amounts of processed foods and animal products compared to those living in rural areas. Both urbanization and consumption lead to greater need of converted land in order for urbanization and food processing to occur which in turn leads to effects like deforestation for land to be used for urban needs.
    The second cause of rapid urbanization is rural to urban migration as we are seeing rural populations tempted by the appealing benefits of urban life. Those who live in rural areas generally are known to come from poorer economic situations and as such have less access to businesses, jobs, and other services found in urban centers. Due to the popularity and current widespread availability of urban centers, it is getting more and more viable for rural populations to migrate over to urban areas than ever before. This in turn causes great stress on the cities and urban centers that host these migrants as more land and services are required to meet the needs of these new members of urban living. Thus, city officials and planners are tempted to tap into local green reserves, forests, and other available land plots to be converted to meet the needs of the urban population.
    The last and likely the most impactful cause of rapid urbanization is enterprise driven deforestation. Forests and land plots are goldmines of resources and potential and large corporations and enterprises understand this all too well. Forests can easily be converted into dollar bills as paper and wood are extremely necessary in the developed world as every human being uses wood products every day. Companies generally only care for the profit margins and think nothing of the environmental damage they cause and thus do whatever it takes to maximize money making. Especially because of the enormous demand from urban centers, it is almost unthinkable for companies not to do this as it is inevitably necessary to meet the needs of the urban population.
    Although rapid urbanization and deforestation are extremely common in our world, there are some ways to combat their negative impact on our planet. I believe that the best way to solve these two problems is to combine both urbanization and green development. As seen in our own Silicon Valley, plans have already been set in motion to convert the old Vallco Mall in Cupertino into a world class urban center and nature reserve. In an unprecedented feat of urban development, the plan is to build a nature center complete with forests and even a fully functioning vineyard on top of a mall structure. This plan in theory would solve both urbanization and deforestation as it would feature nature areas for local ecology, farmland to combat the need of human consumption, and a fully stocked mall for basic human leisure.

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  15. Rapid urbanization that leads to growth in concentrated areas of an increased population and infrastructure are among one of the issues that are directly associated with the negative environmental impacts that we are dealing with today. Some of the impacts resulting from deforestation have been global weirding (temperature), soil erosion, floods, and wildlife extinction. In the United States, one of the most notable shifts of urban migration that changed the course of history dates back to post Civil War industrialization where the Industrial Revolution of the 19th and 20th century brought new innovative technology and business opportunities. These business opportunities led people to certain areas that continued to grow socially, economically, and physically. The three main causes of rapid urbanization were jobs, utilities, and community.
    Major changes in technology led to the development of machines replacing jobs such as farming. In addition, America’s big business and natural resources led to the division of labor where there were many job opportunities for people in different fields. As a result, immigration and the natural growth of American industry led to growth in the population. Next, improved utilities were an important part of urban living because it was much more efficient than rural living in terms of water, power, and transit. There were also better services available with medical help, education, and transportation (railroads, cars).
    Obtaining a sense of community is also a contributing factor to urbanization. Whether it is cultural, for entertainment, or simply because it is too expensive to relocate, people have a desire to interact and build social relationships or social capital. Today most of these reasons are still true and a prime example is where I’m from in the Silicon Valley. Ultimately people want to live in a place where they can work, live and recreate in that area. However, in order for our future generations and environment to thrive, we will need to preserve our goods and services.
    In conclusion, with our continuing increase in population, some of our main concerns will be issues of food, sanitation, and education for everyone. Some solutions for us here would need to come from new innovations and green business that require new perspectives while reducing our environmental impact. Vertical building is a method that could reduce deforestation, because it could have the potential within that infrastructure for sustainable living. Moreover, it would be helpful to have more power coming from renewable energy. Lastly, since the way we obtain our food is putting a lot of stress on our environment. The idea of vertical farms, farming on vacant lots, or rooftop gardens/guerilla gardening can help protect our resources. We need to change the course from thinking about how we’re living in our communities to thinking about how we are living in a global society facing the same environmental issues.

    A.U.C., Active USA Center. “The United States of America.” History of the United States, Industrialization and Reform – TheUSAonline.com, 2018, http://www.theusaonline.com/history/industrialization.htm.

    “Urbanization and the Evolution of Cities across 10,000 Years – Vance Kite.” TED-Ed, 2018, ed.ted.com/lessons/urbanization-and-the-future-of-cities-vance-kite#watch.

    IPCC. Global Weirding, globalweirding.is/here.


  16. For: Saya Matsuda

    Increased deforestation and rapid urbanization are phenomena that cause threat to the environment. Deforestation is the clearing or thinning of forests by humans. Urbanization refers to the increasing number of people that live in urban areas. It conspicuously results in the physical growth of urban areas, be it horizontal or vertical. Deforestation is linked to urbanization in a process leading to the high population density, which makes the cities or societies becoming more urban. The main three causes of those phenomena that suffer the environment are industrial development, climate imbalance, and soil erosion.
    One of the main three causes is industrial development and human habitation. Human is making money by cutting down forests for lumber. For example, according to the website called “Rapid Urbanization,” Singapore has limited lands that have to be extensive purposes, varying from cattle ranching to mining. Singapore is given a strategic location as a global industrial hub in ASEAN, and the main purpose of Singapore’s deforestation is to clear land for economy uses, building cities, and to cater to the rapidly growing population. One example of deforestation in Singapore would be the urbanization projects in Punggol. The number of flats in Punggol was said to be doubled, from the current 18,000 residential units to 35,000 by 2015. However, these plans may face certain detrimental environmental issues, due to the high concentration of hard surfaces instead of greeneries.
    Second cause is climate imbalance. Trees release water vapor in the air, which is compromised on with the lack of trees. It also provide the required shade that keep soil moist. Therefore making the atmosphere temperature suitable for other species. Furthermore, the haphazard clearance of forests has forced several kinds of flora and fauna to shift from their native environment. If trees are cut offed for the purpose of human use, the natural cycle will collapse. The oxygen will no more be reproduced and carbon dioxide will accumulate, which will result in global warming.
    Third cause is soil erosion. This is due to the shade of trees the soil remains moist. If the trees that covered the soil are cleared, the soil will be directly exposed to the sun, making it dry and easy to erode. When the soil erode, it is difficult to cultivate crops. Also, it is not a suitable atmosphere to live. So, this can result in human and animals habitation, which result in urbanization.
    As a solution, green business has possibility to improve the phenomena. It is because green business concerns re-use and recycling reduces deforestation. By focusing on recycling paper, plastics, and wood products it means there will be less dependence on the natural resources and trees and therefore reduce deforestation. This is not the only solution, however, this will be the first step to work on this issues.

    Rapid Urbanization of Singapore. Deforestation [Website].Retrieved from


  17. The mass amount of urbanization is leading to a huge deforestation problem globally. The main causes of urbanization are very closely linked to deforestation. Urbanization is the increase of number of people in an urban area. This can be people moving into a city or a city forming from a village due to the increase of people. This inherently comes with issues. The first issue is the increase in consumption. When people move away from growing their own food and providing for them, there is a larger demand for agricultural products. More pre-packaged food is needed to feed the mass urban population. Due to this, there are large areas of forest that have to be cleared to make room for more farmland. Due to this, we are experiencing mass deforestation in order to support the people in the cities. Another cause of urbanization that leads to deforestation is the need for jobs. Most high paying jobs are found in cities. People move to the cities in order to take these high paying jobs. This causes mass migration out of rural areas into the city. This causes the need for more housing options for the mass amount of people who have moved to the city. This causes urban sprawl and the need for further deforestation in order to have places for these people to live. This can be seen right here in San Francisco. Our city has expanded to encompass many areas that used to be just trees, such as right where our campus is. This can also be seen with the creation of new urban areas such as Oakland. This city was built out of need for people who were working in San Francisco to have somewhere to live. This area, which used to be forest and beach, has been industrialized beyond what we thought we imaginable. Another urbanization issue that is leading to deforestation is the issue of enterprises that run off of the logging industry. Most everything we use in our everyday lives is made of paper or has paper as a part of it. Due to this dependence on paper, we have to cut down millions of trees a year to supply what we need. The number of trees needed is only increasing with urbanization. The more people who have these products available, the more we need. We need trees to build the homes for the people to live in. We need the lumber to build the buildings in which the people work in. The amount of paper product needed in order to sustain these ideals is astronomical. As was shown in the TED talk we watched in class, the amount of trees taken is astonishing. As seen the speaker said over 3 soccer fields worth of trees are taken every minute in Brazil.
    The ways in which we prevent deforestation are hard sells. It is hard to convince places that have a vested interest in the use of tree products to stop deforestation. Places like Virginia where logging is a part of the natural landscape will be less than willing to stop and make changes there. In order to stop deforestation, I think it would be best to show people and explain to them the consequences of this mass deforestation. I feel that if we explain that we need these trees to live, maybe we can make some positive changes.


  18. Urbanization and deforestation are deeply related. It is difficult for one to happen without the other taking place too. Today more than ever, besides, both are at their peak. For the former to occur, the main driver is population growth. The disposition of the city is more efficient when allocating excess of people than a rural landscape, since it allows for more individuals to find a place to live in an each time more crowded area. Examples of this can be seen all around the world, especially nowadays in developing countries, where the population growth rate is significantly higher than in advanced economies, and where urbanization levels are growing parallel, as we can see in the increase of global cities or megacities. Also, in line with this there is migration as a driving force for urbanization. When specific countries become target destinies for flocks of migrants, they suffer pressure upwards on their percentage of urban areas. This happens because of the same reasoning behind population growth, and because cities, despite the fact that they are the unhealthiest form of living, provide people with greater education systems, health care, among others, than any other rural spaces. This explains the famous rural exodus. In this regard, the so called urban fertility rates reinforces urbanization as well, since rural migrants that move to cities normally want more children. Finally, another driver for urbanization is the growing profits made by enormous corporation which increase their returns by expanding their industries in the outskirts of cities.

    All the previous factors are at the root of deforestation. That is why, several innovations have been developed and implemented to fight deforestation or mitigate the effects of urbanization. On the economic side of the problem, the creation of the green business incentivizes consumers and producers to watch out their actions towards the environment by Reusing, Reducing and Recycling more often. All three actions combined allow industries to low their impact on forests by lowering the supply of products that involve deforestation activities. This is fundamental since growing urban population are increasingly higher consumers of processed products and products in general. They are constantly invited to buy and consume, much more than rural populations. Also, eco-forestry comprises activities destined at reducing the damage made to the environment by industries. Some of them encourage the cut of trees in a manner that the area is not deprived of all its health, and it can regenerate without big negative impacts. Others are just aimed at inducing companies to reduce their consumption of input from the forest. On the legal side, regulations, sanctions and laws have been created to protect natural areas and forbid excessive damage to the environment by setting limits. Also, new agencies have arised in the defense of the environment, carrying out their own actions to protect nature. Likewise, educational measures are including more contents that want to raise awareness about the dangers of deforestation and the possible contributions that can be made by everyone. Finally, practices such as reforestation or replanting are a really useful method of reversing the damage of deforestation by restoring forestry areas and gradually their ecosystems.


  19. Tina C. Adewunmi
    Professor Amir,
    Deforestation, and Urbanization is the land use for developed counties has little land strengthening most land already developed or protected. In the developing world experiencing rapid extensification example: rainforest, palm oil plantation.
    Extensification is introducing production into land areas that were previously unused or used for less intensive purposefulness. Current land use, humans altered 75% of global ice-free land most in past 200 years ago. This strengthening increases productivity that approaches fertilization, pesticides and irrigation of creating more products with the same land area in the same location. The main intentional changes are Urbanization, deforestation, cropland, and rangeland, which accidental changes. Urbanization increase in proportion of population of people living in large cities and other urban areas, suburban sprawl, landfills, habitat fragmentation and shift from rural to urban. Nevertheless a suburb is residential and commercial area that surrounds large cities. Characterized “urban spraw”. Rapid land use change with regard to impacts on infrastructure and environment increased use of cars and building roads, impervious surfaces, decrease native species.
    Deforestation is defined as removal of forests that often precedes development of current rate: I California per decade habitat loss biodiversity loss, burning releases GHG, increased green house gases erosion, water quality that impacts local climate and precipitation altered. We can prevent or reduce the deforestation by clean technologies that by strategy produce less pollution and waste and used resources more efficiently. Climate change, non-transient altering of underlying climate, such as increasing average temperature decreased annual precipitation, or greater average intensity of droughts or storms. In reference to the impact, the global warming phenomenon can be reforestation of planting trees in areas where forests did not previously exist. While desertification is land degradation from over harvesting resources, climate variability, poor irrigation. We can also note the distinction between changes.


  20. Rapid urbanization is strongly linked to the loss of forests, as land is flattened to make room for urban developments and agricultural fields. Deforestation is a symptom of economic interest in extracting raw materials (timber mainly) from forests. This conveniently clears land for investments into development projects at the expense of forest ecosystems. Forests are important carbon sinks that provide valuable ecosystem services for humans, thus their loss is very detrimental.
    Rising consumption levels are a primary factor in increased deforestation rates. Forests are being cleared in favor of farmland to feed our society’s increasing demands. As an effect, we lose valuable natural ecosystems and important carbon absorbing frameworks. We see this occurring right now, as the Amazon Rainforest is being thinned in favor of cattle grazing land, and monoculture crop fields.
    Residents living in highly urbanized areas possess a larger degree of separation from their environment than those living in rural areas. The migration of populations from rural areas to highly urbanized ones poses problems for forest stocks because residents are less integrated into the natural ecosystem. Urban centers tend to rely on remote green spaces for goods and resources, causing a disconnect between people’s interactions with their environment and their rate of consumption. Rural residents tend to live in close proximity to their natural environment and are therefore more wary of how their consumption draws from ecological sources.
    Deforestation as a result of enterprise is largely driven by our populations’ growing demand for farmland. Industrial agricultural practices do not focus on keeping soil conditions sustainable for future growth, and instead tends to promote practices which maximize crop yield for profit. Large scale agriculture operations which operate in the primary interest of profit find it more suitable to grow crops aggressively until the plot of land is depleted of its resources, before expanding onto to the next. Their interests do not align with the preservation of sustainable farmland, and in effect, their interests do not align with preserving forest lands if that space can be used for crop production.
    Mitigating this will require the adoption of sustainable actions for the protection of forest lands, as well as promoting sustainable agricultural practices. Rapid urbanization is an inevitability in the face of a rapidly growing population; but, urbanization can be done well, so that large urban centers can be accomodating of a large influx of people while operating sustainably. In fact, creating large urban centers which operate sustainably could be a first step in reclaiming land for natural use on this planet. Suburbs could be perceived as another facet of environmentally unfavorable city planning. Suburban cities tend to be spread out and lack public transportation, causing their residents to drive longer distances in personal vehicles. Residents of suburbs consume more resources in their large homes, and contribute to water overconsumption via lawn watering. Therefore, it could be theorized that residents which live in a sustainably planned dense urban center may cause fewer emissions since they live in condensed areas where distances are shorter and public transportation is more abundant. Future cityscapes therefore might contain large urban centers surrounded by lush wildlife and sparsely spread rural settlements, rather than being dominated by endless suburban cities.


  21. Urbanization and Deforestation

    Urbanization is a phenomenon that is rapidly taking over the earth’s surface and there are many key factors that come into play when explaining why urbanization is such a problem. Calling it a problem can be tough as humans are advancing into a period that is consumerism driven and is geared towards a lifestyle that is in cities and areas that provide more jobs. “There is a growth in the world population and what is interesting is that while the world’s population is doubling, the worlds urban population in tripling. Within the next few years, more than half of the world’s population will be living in urban areas” (Torrey, 2004). It is worrisome to see what the effects of urbanization will have on natural systems and earth’s ecosystems. We are living in a time that is driven by modern capitalism leaving a bigger demand for urbanization over protecting and conserving the areas that are being torn down and destroyed by urbanization. The three biggest issues that cause urbanization is consumption, rural-to-urban migration, and enterprise driven deforestation.

    When it comes to consumption, the world is constantly consuming when it comes to food, energy, and water as well as items that are thrown away causing pollution every day. Urbanization goes hand in hand with consumption because urbanization raises the need to consume and for a more demand for products like processed foods and animal products (Gohar, 2018). People living in urban environments live very differently than those who live in rural environments. For example, “urban populations consume much more food, energy, and durable goods than rural populations. In China during the 1970’s the urban populations consumed more than twice as much pork as the rural populations who were raising the pigs (Torrey, 2004.) It is inevitable that with urbanization, consumption increases which create more of a demand for goods that leads to more deforestation to occur.

    However, it is inevitable that people will migrate from rural to urban areas, as there will always be more resources available for people and their families, such as access to more jobs and education. If people see an opportunity for a better life then they are bound to make those moves. Along with that, rural dwellers may move for more severe issues such as issues with natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, or the dust bowl as we have seen in recent history. As well for political reasons, farmers will be more inclined to leave their lands when they see more potential for more money in urban settings (Prugh, 2016).

    The most depressing of them all is enterprise driven deforestation where big corporations are making money by cutting down trees for various reasons. Living in the small town of Lathrop in the central valley, we see it all the time in the sense that areas are taken over tremendously by big warehouses within the last few years which has undoubtedly been taking away from all the animals and small ecosystems that inhibit these large areas. It is definitely confusing in the sense that it is taking away homes from all these beings yet it is providing so many jobs to hundreds of people.
    Despite all these reasons of urbanizations and how It is a direct cause of deforestation, I believe that is important to find boundaries and an urgency that while we are expanding, it is done in a way that is sustainable and not harming our earth’s natural systems.


  22. Rapid urbanization is the act of cleaning or thinning forestry by humans over a period of time.Rapid urbanization and increased deforestation are phenomena that causes threat to the environment. The three main causes of rapid urbanization are urbanization due to expansion on forest land, urbanization due to change in rural characteristics to be simulate, and urbanization for the raise of consumption levels. Urbanization comes in contact with many processes such as agriculture and consumption areas, it attempts to raise consumption levels. It can have a pretty big impact and cause natural disasters, but there are ways to prepare and prevent it from occurring. Some solutions to deforestation are creating a green business, more efficient laws and regulations, starting a community forestry, land use planning and education. Education could be as simple as teaching a class in schools for a small period of time to bring awareness to youth that could help spread the word. In addition, we currently have policies but we don’t do a very good job at implementing and more efficient would be regulations without any loopholes. Not only within small communities, but in hospitals and local governments as well. This is also considered community forestry, building upon the community. Lastly the green business would be concerned organizations putting out alternatives. From my past experiences in Southeast Asia I can say it tends to occur a lot. There is little to no protection for the forests. Majority of the people rely on the forest and the biodiversity of the forests for daily resources.


  23. Rapid urbanization is the speedy and unsteady increase and overpopulation of urban areas. Rapid urbanization through overpopulation often leads to the growth of cities and developed areas, as well as the conversion of rural communities into urbanized regions. The growth of urbanized areas consumes natural land such as parks, forests, and other places.

    One of the main causes for rapid urbanization and increased deforestation is urbanization itself. An increase of urbanization raises population and resource consumption levels. A higher demand of products and supplies for food and agriculture are not usually met by the supply. The consumption of all these resources and products leads to deforestation. One broad example is the United States’ demand of trees for multiple supplies. The demand for commodities such as lumber (furniture, structures, etc.), paper supplies for offices and bags, and other uses of cut trees directly leads to deforestation.

    Forests and trees can also be mowed down to increase open space for development. Another main cause for rapid urbanization and deforestation is are economic incentives. Similar to trying to meet consumer demands, expanding open space for migration and the creation of new housing and job areas leads to deforestation. The increase in population and physical growth of urbanized areas leads to deforestation. This can be seen in areas such as Southern California where the migration to these cities puts stress on the woods and natural areas around the area. Wildfires and drops in animal population are also affected by a rapid increase in population and development, and vice versa.

    Another cause for deforestation is natural causes. Natural disasters can lead to vast amounts of forested land being brought down. However, it is probably more important to analyze how the community recovers from these crises. Instead of building new urbanized areas on land of burned down forests and acidic soil, reforesting the areas is a much more environmentally-friendly and sustainable way to recover.
    We can prevent deforestation through different methods such as promoting smaller and greener businesses, pushing equitable environmental laws, and supporting community projects such as tree planting and group cleaning of areas. Promoting reforestation and slowing or even hindering urbanization will definitely help fight against deforestation.


  24. Jacqueline Mister

    Over the past years, world history has proven that the relationship between human societies and the environment has impacted social-economic life and has exploited environments and civilizations. Urbanization has its ways of directly affecting the migration of rural residents to busy population centers, and has also been the root cause of forest loss in the world. Studies have proved that urbanization and trade are international markets that have correlated to urban growth and agricultural exports. As more people move to inner cities rates of consumption usually become higher. There is an increase in pressures on forest areas and international markets. Some non agricultural food items are usually used in international markets and have made a high demand and has negatively affected countries from which popular food items grow. Large scale agricultural production has heightened climate change. Forest areas are rapidly decreasing releasing more carbon into the air. The main goals of fixing these problems would be to focus on reducing deforestation for the industry, exporting goods, and increase yields in non-forested lands.
    From the reading Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems. I found that creating institutions to meet or challenge sustainability is the most important task when dealing with a structure which systems are linked together to create a cycle of growth with nature, people and capitalism. This also includes human natural systems that take place ranging from the biosphere. Over periods of time this transitional cycle started as a drop in the biosphere where researchers are able to identify which points in the system are acceptable to positive change. In the developing world like Asia, China and India many cities inside these countries have fast developing rates of urban growth. Urban growth rates are more rapid in all parts of the world but of all the slum sub regions of Asia is projected to be the highest of that in the world.


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