Master Plans to Meet Basic Public Health Needs for Projected Growth in Urban Populations

  • Frederic R. Siegel
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Geography book series (BRIEFSGEOGRAPHY)


As noted at the beginning of this book, demographers project that the global urban population will grow from ~4 billion people (of 7.5+ billion) in 2018 to 6.9 billion (of 9.8 billion) by 2050. Most of this demographic change will take place in Asia and Africa as countries focus on economic growth through industrial development and employment opportunities that industry and its service businesses (suppliers) create for citizens. Because of jobs open in construction for industrial development, (e.g. infrastructure), in industries as they go into production, presumed access to education for children, and better health care, workers flocked to and are still flocking to urban centers. Unfortunately many growing cities, and mega-cities that grew from them, did not adequately plan on providing quality shelter for workers serviced by basic requirements as discussed earlier in this text. These include safe water, access to adequate sanitation, electricity, gas, and efficient transportation to move workers (if they are employed) to their jobs and back to their homes. Nor did all municipalities do thorough environmental impact studies. For example, one devastating result is that there has been air pollution from gases, aerosols, and fine size particles (<2.5 μ) emitted by industries. Globally there were 4.2 million premature deaths abetted by air pollution in 2015. In China alone, 1.11 million people died prematurely abetted by inhalation of fine size particles with India was not far behind with 1.09 million premature deaths abetted by fine size particle inhalation [1]. There was damage to agricultural soils by acid rain thus threatening internal food security. Instead, governments exhibited tunnel vision on industrial advancement but not on caring effectively for their growing populations. Only recently, as a result of citizen protests (e.g., of death and sickness by smog, of Pb (lead) poisoning of children from residentially located factories) and international condemnation of problems such as just cited, have governments (e.g., China) begun to respond to environmental dangers with legislation that is being enforced albeit ofttimes spottily.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederic R. Siegel
    • 1
  1. 1.George Washington UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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