Unit 6 Asia's Megacities

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RMIT - Megacities

Text of Unit 6 Asia's Megacities

  • Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012

    English Language Programs Academic English Program Level 5 Upper-Intermediate

    Unit 6: Megacities

    Text

    David Ferris, Contributor 8/31/2012 @ 11:04AM

    Asia's Megacities Pose A Stark Environmental Challenge

    The behemoth cities of Asia are larger than any in world history, and are growing so quickly that it is hard to keep track of how they are affecting the environment and peoples health. A new report by the Asian Development Bank tries to shed some light with charts and graphs that tell a gripping story.

    The report, Green Urbanization (noun) in Asia, is a sobering yet hopeful examination of the environmental prospects for Asias giant cities. In this post I look at the problem, and in a future post I will look at some of the reports possible solutions.

    First, a look at how fast Asia is urbanizing (verb).

  • Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012

    English Language Programs Academic English Program Level 5 Upper-Intermediate

    Europe took 150 years to grow from 10 percent population in the cities to 50 percent, while North America reached the same point in 105 years. The report projects that Asia and the Pacific will take just 95 years to reach the same mark, and notes that China finished the job in just 61 years.

    The continent is forecast to add 822 million people to its cities in the first two decades of this century, a pace far faster than previous eras. China again takes the lead.

    If Earth were a company where every urban (adj) dweller had a share, Asia is already approaching a controlling interest. The continent had 46.2 percent of the urban population as of 2010, and as the next graph shows, it isnt even close to topping out.

  • Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012

    English Language Programs Academic English Program Level 5 Upper-Intermediate

    This chart compares levels of urbanization among major regions over time. By 2050, Asia and the Pacific may have 63 percent of its population in the city, which is about where the United States was in 1950. This indicates that Asias cities are likely to grow strongly for the duration of the 21st Century.

    In 1950, the world had exactly two megacities, New York and Tokyo. (A megacity is defined as a metropolitan area of 10 million people or more.) As of 2010, the Earth had 23 megacities, 12 of them in Asia. By 2025, 21 of the worlds 37 megacities will be located there.

    This chart identifies the worlds most dense (adj) cities, which is an important metric because a crowded population cuts two ways: It increases the citys appetite for resources while also making it possible to deliver those resources more efficiently. Seventeen of the 25 densest (adj) cities in the world are in Asia.

  • Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012

    English Language Programs Academic English Program Level 5 Upper-Intermediate

    The rapid growth of China and India have catapulted them into top positions as emitters of carbon dioxide, which is warming the atmosphere and tweaking our climate in dangerous ways. The surge is so strong that they are overtaking or approaching the older industrial centers of the United States, Russia and Japan.

    A more immediate concern for Asias urban dwellers is the local air quality. The above graph shows that 67 percent of large cities that fail to meet the European Union air quality standard are in Asia.

  • Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012

    English Language Programs Academic English Program Level 5 Upper-Intermediate

    This chart shows how sea level rise and more powerful storms both likely consequences of climate change will have an especially devastating impact on the low-lying coastal cities of Asia. As of 2000, the Asian urban population at risk of coastal flooding was 1.39 billion people, more than twice the number at risk in Europe, more than four times greater than in Latin America, and almost five times that of Africa.

    Coastal cities that are vulnerable to climate change are also powerful magnets drawing people from the countryside. Between 2010 and 2025, another 107 million people are expected to arrive.

    The impact of climate change will also be felt in inland cities because of larger, wetter and more violent storms. Between 2010 and 2025, another 96 million people will move into these flood-prone Asian cities.

  • Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012

    English Language Programs Academic English Program Level 5 Upper-Intermediate

    This chart details which giant Asian cities are most at risk of flooding, both coastal and inland.

    What ought to be done to blunt the environmental and health impact of Asias burgeoning megacities? I will share some findings from the report later, but in the meantime please share in the comments.

    If you would like to find out more, check out Forbes Magazine to follow the blog: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidferris/2012/08/31/the-stark-environmental-challenge-of-asias-megacities/

    Source: Ferris D, 2012, Asias Megacities Pose a Stark Environmental Challenge Forbes Magazine, 31 August, viewed 6 December 2012, http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidferris/2012/08/31/the-stark-environmental-challenge-of-asias-megacities/

  • Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012

    English Language Programs Academic English Program Level 5 Upper-Intermediate

    Worksheet Asias Megacities Pose a Stark Environmental Challenge

    Read the text and make an entry in your Reading Journal. Make a note in your RJ of any videos you watch as well.

    Consider:

    1. Make sure you include the source of this article? 2. Note in the left-hand column, the main idea of the article / supporting arguments? 3. Note in the right-hand column, your thoughts about the authors arguments / idea, do you agree or disagree

    based on your existing knowledge?

    Discussion:

    1. What are the implications of rising sea levels for Ho Chi Minh City (see table 6)? 2. What could be done to solve the problem of population density (noun phrase) in HCMC (see figure 8)? 3. Why do you think that the majority of megacities are in Asia (see figure 6)? 4. What can policy makers do to solve the problems of megacities in Asia generally? Go to YouTube and watch:

    Asia's Booming Megacities Need to Grow Green to Survive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW4uzHEWo_s

    Record new vocabulary

    1. Look at the highlighted words in the text e.g. urbanization (noun US spelling) see if you can guess the meaning by context.

    2. Check to see if you are correct by using an English-to-English dictionary or go online to http://dictionary.reference.com/.

    3. Listen to the word/s as well so you know how to pronounce these words. 4. Make sure you record all of these words and their word families create your own sentences for practice. 5. Use this new vocabulary in your Tutorial to help you remember. 6. Pay particular attention this week to the language used to describe trends, make sure you note these in your

    personal dictionary.

    Look at the Tutorial Questions for this week, which question/s can this text help you answer?

    Remember to cite your sources in your Tutorial

    1. Use reporting verbs to refer to this article so we know who your source is to avoid plagiarism. 2. It also shows that you have prepared for the Tutorial.