Thursday, December 14, 2006

Asian Cities Face Environmental Crises

As more and more rural people migrate to the cities for work, traffic congestion and pollution will get worse, urban quality of life will deteriorate and poverty will increase, according to the book "Urbanization and Sustainability in Asia", jointly published by the Asian Development Bank.

"Overcrowding has become endemic in many cities," the book, edited by two University of Canberra professors Brian Roberts and Trevor Kanaley, said.

"Urban poverty, associated with unemployment and lack of access to adequate housing and services, is an increasing social problem," it added.

With the exception of Singapore no country in Asia has solved its urban housing problem, the book said.

"The most challenging problem facing Asian cities is meeting the demand for and maintaining urban infrastructure to provide access to good quality, affordable and reliable services.

The continuation of present practices and levels of investments could well see the sustainability of many Asian cities undermined," said the book, co-published by a group called Cities Alliance.

These population centers could face "periodic urban environmental crises, and gradual erosion of quality of life for the majority of urban populations," it added.


Colombo is one such "population center" and it gets worse every day. So many books published on the subject, so many discussions held and so many committees appointed - why isn't anything done yet?!

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