Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Dubious Distinction...the World's 25 Dirtiest Cities

Moscow, Russia

Last month, Forbes recently wrote an article about the world's dirtiest and polluted cities. Many of these cities face the same problems that European and American cities faced at the turn of the 20th centruy. The lack of planning of sanitation and sewage for booming cities in developing nations has reached near crisis mode for the general health of city residents and the environment.

Ironically the basis of city planning stems from the planning of sanitation, sewage and foul land uses to have their waste properly disposed of and placed away from the main living spaces of people. As planners, in developed nations we argue, theorize and conjecture on how to make our developed neighborhoods more walkable but we must always be aware of the city planning needs of developing nations to make city dwellers have the basic infrastructure needs to survive.
Many of the environmental hazards currently found in cities on these list could have been addressed if they were properly planned. While some developing nations may not have had the funds necessary to construct and maintain public infrastructure, I'm sure all can agree that haphazard planning has not worked in favor on the development growth of these cities.

An excerpt from the article:

"Economies suffer, too. Health care costs and lost productivity drag on business. Companies also face added costs in the form of remuneration packages when relocating employees and their families to some of these cities, noted Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer. Cost-benefit analysis certainly suggests making progress toward cleanup. According to a study done by WaterAid, for every $1 spent on improved sanitation, the benefit equals $9 resulting from decreased cost of health care and increased productivity."

What is your opinion?

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