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What Sprawl Is and How It Affects Public Health Report

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Updated: Jan 6th, 2022

Introduction

Regular ferry services were introduced in the year 1814 and ever since that time, there has been a steady growth of the infrastructure and hence the cities. The 19th and 20th century saw a rise in the growth of suburbs near the cities as people preferred to live away from the cities where they worked. This was especially facilitated by the good infrastructure as commuters had the ability to access their workstations miles away at a very limited time especially by use of the trains. This resulted in expansion of the urban areas outward to the suburbs: a concept that was termed as ‘urban sprawl’ (Frumkin 201).

Effects on Public Health

Overuse of cars has resulted in changing lifestyles. This means there is less exercise for people and there is increased dependence on fast foods. This has caused a serious health catastrophe with the biggest concern being obesity. There are many other obesity related sickness like hypertension and heart diseases. Urban sprawl has also caused a sharp increase in the accident rates. More usage of locomotives results in the increase of accidents. These accidents affect both the motorists and the pedestrians (Frumkin 204).

Urban sprawl results in increased car usage, which translates to more emissions of green house gases. Even though there have been cleaner cars that have been developed over the years, the pollution is still evident. The combustion of the fuel used results in by harmful products like carbon. The gases emitted are known to deplete the ozone layer, which then causes global warming. The climates of cities and the affected suburbs will therefore be forced to change overtime. Global warming results into acidic rain and this will hamper agricultural production (Frumkin 202).

Urban sprawl results in the encroachment on the forest cover. Experts have observed that there is more surface runoff in developed areas than in undeveloped areas. The increased surface run off the rainwater means that there is less absorption of the rainwater into the ground. The quantity of water available as well as the quality of water available is therefore affected to a great extent in urban sprawl. The availability of clean and safe drinking water is an important factor in public health and urban sprawl can therefore be said to be impacting negatively on public health.

Recommendations

As Frumkin (202) observes, there is need for more research on the concept of urban sprawl so as to come up with more eco friendly planning and development of cities. This can help to curb pollution. For instance, more research can be done to come up with roads that absorb water instead of running it off. This is not only good for water availability but it will also help in the cooling of the roads. This would be a very practical solution for the United Arab Emirates due to the high temperatures.

The simple solution that is recommended to help curb the effects of urban sprawl is the planting of more trees. It is an established fact that trees not only provide catchment areas for water but they also serve as wind breakers. This will go a long away in preventing sheet erosion. If this recommendation was to be implemented in the United Arab Emirates, it could result in an increase of water availability.

The biggest challenges that the recommendations suggested face are that the solutions offered need comprehensive research. The issues of goodwill and funding of the process arise since people rarely take environmental issues seriously. In addition, some solutions might not be easy to implement. For instance, growing trees may not be possible in places where people have already settled. It may also be hard to grow trees in harsh environments like in the United Arab Emirates.

Works Cited

Frumkin Howard. Urban Sprawl and Public Health. Public Health Reports, 117 (2002): 201-217.

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IvyPanda. "What Sprawl Is and How It Affects Public Health." January 6, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/what-sprawl-is-and-how-it-affects-public-health/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "What Sprawl Is and How It Affects Public Health." January 6, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/what-sprawl-is-and-how-it-affects-public-health/.

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