Mega Cities Essay

1170 words - 5 pages

FreyaDescribe the challenges facing megacities and evaluate the responses to these challengesMega Cities are cities that have a population of more than 8 million and are characterised by the challenges they face, including issues involving the informal economy, unemployment, poor sanitation and shelter. These issues are largely prominent in these cities due to rapid urban growth and a lack of resources. In many cases action has been taken by national governments and non-governmental organisations (NGO's) to combat and reduce the impact of these issues, however In order for these strategies to be effective they need to fit 3 primary criteria, the solution must be community based, cost effective and sustainable economically and environmentally. Strategies such as micro financing.. Etc. have been adopted to resolve these challenged.A primary challenge facing many mega cities is the population's heavy reliance on the informal economy as a means of income. The informal economy is a sector of unregulated work and with this comes high unemployment rates and a lack of jobs to support the ever-increasing population. Jobs in the informal economy are particularly prominent in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where 65% of all jobs are found in this sector. Jobs in the informal economy pose a threat to mega cities and their population as workers are not protected and are open to exploitation (e.g. Child labour) and people employed informally pay no tax (e.g. Street vendors, rickshaw drivers) leading to a reduction in the governments revenue. A number of strategies have been undertaken in order to transform informal work into the formal economy, including Micro financing. Micro financing involves NGO's giving out small loans (approximately $US200), which provide people with money to formalise their business. There are a number of NGO's that undertake this strategy, including Opportunity International, which is an Australian charity, operating in manila, targeting particularly impoverished communities. Access to these loans is based on a persons standing in the community and once the business begins to sustain itself loans must be repaid. The outcome of this process is a formalised business, which then contributes to government beneficially by providing it with revenue. This strategy to combat the prominence of the informal economy has been particularly successful, adheres to the three evaluation criteria and provides users with lifetime skills and an income, which could potentially improve their living standards/quality of life.Another challenge faced by a large majority of mega cities is access to shelter, due to population growth in mega cities being too extreme for sufficient supply of housing. This in turn leads to the creation of informal housing, such as squatter settlements, which are generally formed on unoccupied unwanted land, such as next to rail lines or sewerage systems. Informal housing is extremely prominent in developing countries such as India, where...

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