How land use and urbanization contribute to climate change

Land use urbanization

How land use and urbanization contribute to climate change

Land use and climate change are relatively linked. At different times and space dimensions, this change interacts with one another. However, it is important to note that improper land use is one of the contributors to climate change, particularly the African continent.

Lands that are well-managed and multi-functional are essential to our survival. Since land is the cornerstone of society, it serves as a platform for residential, commercial, and industrial regions, and importantly as a source of economic growth.

However, human activities are altering a growing portion of our planet’s surface area, resulting in unsustainable and well-managed land plans. This coupled with climate change and extreme weather occurrences such as floods and drought put a huge strain on land resources. To this end,  humans have to deal with unsafe and degraded lands in extreme cases.

Urban expansion is the term used to describe the massive population growth of urban areas. If not managed, it can have negative environmental consequences. So far, Africa is experiencing about 2% of these consequences.

As population growth exceeds land area, some have resorted to sand filling water regions. A case in point is Lagos Island, Nigeria.  Apart from the fact that structures built on such lands may not be firmly grounded, there is also the danger of erosion and flooding.

With the increase in urbanization, it is necessary to consider whether there is enough land area for planting trees that some scientists have proscribed as one of the solutions to reduce the effects of climate change. This is because trees are known to absorb carbon while releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.

In many overpopulated cities, houses in some residential areas are built so close that there is hardly room for ventilation because of the small landmass.

Also, due to rapid industrialization, cities tend to have higher temperatures than rural areas which increases the risk of health problems heatstroke, meningitis (in young children).

Without a doubt, a high rate of urbanization can bring about socio-economic opportunities for a given country. However, appropriate policies in the areas of housing, transportation, health, and the like must be implemented.

City council, planners, and property developers should verify and monitor land usage to avoid disasters that emerge from inadequate management which do not only threaten people’s lives but also harm the environment.

While we cannot deny that urbanization is a sign of progress, and land usage is critical in this scenario, land and urbanization must be managed effectively to maintain environmental safety.

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