economic development/underdevelopment and overpopulation

Discussion in 'Economics' started by ScottDobson, May 10, 2007.

  1. Arguments about overpopulation and underdevelopment have been frequent and no clear cut solution is available.

    Population issues are evident in developed and developing cities the world over. The main pressures placed on a city as a result of overpopulation are in transport, housing, infrastructure and employment.

    Transport: As population growth increases, greater stress is placed on public transport to cope with the influx. New roads, more buses, trains, ferries etc are required, and the transport network struggles to cope with the overpopulation.

    Housing: People need places to live, and as the population increases in a city, so too does the requirement for new housing developments. Different cities adopt policies of urban sprawl or consolidation, however both these policies require the update of infrastructure, as outlined below.

    Infrastructure: Ties in with the need for greater transport and housing. As these needs increase, the need for new infrastructure also increases. New roads/rail links must be provided for new residents to access employment, while infrastructure such as waste management and water and electricity supply, must be upgraded (for urban consolidation policies)or put into place (for urban sprawl policies).

    Employment: A key issue as population increases. People may be provided with housing, and the infrastructure may be upgraded to cope with the population increase, however if there are not enough employment opportunities to provide the majority of the "new" population with employment, an economic crises can occur.

    Sydney is a perfect example of a city experiencing such pressure on services due to urban consolidation and urban sprawl policies. Housing is provided to accommodate the population increase, (caused by rural-urban migration, immigration and natural births) however it takes years for roads and public transport to be upgraded and health services provided to support the population increase.

    Housing developments in kellyville, Windsor, Richmond and bella Vista, as well as town-house developments in baulkham Hills and Castle Hill have been rapidly increasing throughout the past fifteen years, however only in 2004 did the commencement of the upgrade of Windsor Road occur. (the key road taking traffic from the aforementioned suburbs, towards the cbd of Sydney) Shortages of beds in hospitals are constantly appearing in news headlines across Sydney, as hospitals become increasingly unable to cope with the population influx, highlighting infrastructure issues. Fortunately, Sydney is not experiencing a high unemployment rate, however many other developed cities are not as fortunate.

    For positive economic development of a city to occur I strongly believe a balance needs to be struck between the population influx and the level of development. (in terms of housing, transport, infrastructure and employment) If these are not in balance, whether through over population, or over supply of basic services, the city will not be operating in economic efficiency, having detrimental ramifications on economic growth and development.

    Any comments or ideas are appreciated!

    Scott dobson
  2. Do you and Alaa Alaabed and Megha Bahuguna live in the same dormitory?