The world is experiencing a rapid rate of urbanization. It is estimated that about 3 percent of the global population used to be urban dwellers during the 19th century (Sorensen & Okata, 2011). However, the urban population grew to about 30 percent of the total world population during the 1950s. Current estimates reveal that about 50 percent of the world population resides in urban centers. Further projections indicate that nearly 67 percent of the world population will be comprised of city dwellers before the close of 2030s. In spite of the growing number of urban dwellers across the world, cities occupy less than 3 percent of the total surface of the earth (Sorensen & Okata, 2011).
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On the contrary, about 75 percent of resources available in cities are put into full utilization. It is against this backdrop that mega cities are faced with the following key challenges: innovation, provision of healthcare services, sanitation, security, transport and communication, living condition, education, cultural diversity, economic dimension (unemployment) and environmental conservation.
It is also prudent to mention that a mega city is defined as an urban settlement with more than ten million residents. On the other hand, sustainability refers to the ability of a mega city to manage the available resources in the most effective manner over a reasonable length of time. This essay offers a brief discussion of sustainability factors that face the Mexico Mega City.
Mexico Mega City
Mexico Mega City is one of the fastest growing urban centers in the world with a yearly rise in population of slightly over 2 percent (Parker, 2006). However, the city is faced with myriads of sustainability challenges. For example, garbage disposal, removal of industrial and domestic wastewaters, and portable water supplies are some of the challenges facing Mexico Mega City today (Marcotullio & McGranahan, 2007). The geographical position of Mexico has also contributed towards a number of natural hazards experienced by the mega city. Hence, effective geo-science planning is of great importance in the sustainability of Mexico City.
Adequate and sustainable water supply is one of the glaring challenges facing the Mexico mega city. The geological history of this region has immensely contributed towards the water supply problem. The city lies within a flat basin of land that covers approximately 7,500 square kilometers of a depressed surface. The floor of the basin is composed of saline soil. The geological depression is bordered by high peaks of volcanic mountains. Until about three decades ago, the inhabitants of Mexico City hardly faced any gross water problems. However, the disruption in water supply was mainly occasioned by the recent volcanic eruptions around the region. As it stands now, the city incurs a lot of financial loss in redirecting water to Mexico City from external aquifers located outside the basin.
Second, the Mexico Mega City also struggles with overpopulation that overstretches its ability to offer sustainable services to the inhabitants. The high Mexican population that ranges close to 121 million people has spilled into the Mexico Mega City to search for greener pastures. The city has witnessed a massive rural to urban migration. It has become increasingly unsustainable for the city authorities to offer all the services required by the growing urban population (Kapell, 2012).
Due to the high rate of population growth, the city has not escaped environmental degradation as a result of overusing the limited available resources. For example, thermal inversion is one of the immediate environmental impacts in Mexico City. The latter is caused by intense human activities in both the service and goods industries. The notorious pollution that emanates from the city can hardly escape to the atmosphere owing to the geographical position of the basin area. Cool air that flows from the high peaks of volcanic mountains sits over the warm air from the city. Therefore, it is impossible for aerosols and other forms of particles to escape freely into the atmosphere. The latter explains why petrochemical smog is a common phenomenon in Mexico City. Although the city inhabitants may be used to this condition, the smog hinders visibility especially for low flying aeroplanes and aircrafts.
Mexico City has been experiencing air pollution for a long time. It can be recalled that the United Nations rated the city air as the worst polluted in the world during the 1990s. Although measures such as non-circulation days and vehicle verification systems were put in place, the challenge of air population has not been effectively addressed. There are over 600 vehicles that are introduced in the Mexican roads each day. Hence, automobiles account for over 30 percent of the population.
The city authorities ought to devise sustainable solutions to curb the growing challenges of this expansive urban settlement. The Mexican authorities have been working tirelessly on the Green Plan solution to address the indiscriminate and rampant state of pollution. For example, the entire society is being engaged on the best sustainable solutions that can be put in place to reduce the pace of pollution. Some of the proposed and implemented sustainable solutions for the Mexico City include effective management of resources, rehabilitation of the roadways and optimization of the public transport system (Tortajada & Castelán, 2003).
Kapell, C. (2012). The Expansion Costs of Mexico (Mega) City. Web.
Marcotullio, J.P. & McGranahan, G. (2007). Scaling Urban Environmental Challenges: From Local to Global and Back. New York: Institute of Advanced Studies. Web.
Parker, E. (2006). Mexico City. London: Evans Brothers Limited. Web.
Sorensen, A. & Okata, J. (2011). Megacities: Urban Form, Governance, and Sustainability. New York: Springer. Web.
Tortajada, C. & Castelán, E. (2003). Water Management for a Mega city: Mexico City Metropolitan area. Ambio, 32 (2), 124-129. Web.