Cities sprawl Prominent among other land use changes is the continued
growth of urban areas (see below). Builtup area per person continues to
grow in the Markets First scenario, tending towards the sprawling
settlement patterns of North America. Despite relatively compact settlement
patterns in Policy First compared to Markets First, higher
income growth is accompanied by a more rapid expansion in built-up land.
As a result, the built-up area in Policy First is only slightly
below Markets First. Unplanned expansion and rapid population growth
lead to substantial growth in built-up area in Security First.
In Sustainability First, as in Policy First, a tendency
towards compact settlement patterns is offset by more rapid economic expansion.
However, the offset is only partial and total built-up area grows least
in this scenario.
|Extent of built-up areas: Latin
America and the Caribbean (% of total land area)
|Source: PoleStar (see technical
|Energy-related nitrogen oxide emissions:
Latin America and the Caribbean (million tonnes nitrogen)
|Source: IMAGE 2.2 (see technical
|Key to charts
Expansion of urban conditions raises problems of water quality, waste
management, air pollution and general sprawl throughout much of Latin
America. Economic driving forces continue to attract people to the cities,
especially in Markets First. Without improved planning and organization,
the environmental pressures on urban areas, especially in mega-cities,
continue to grow as the rates of population growth outpace that of infrastructure
development. This effect is stepped up in a Security First world,
where the affluent increasingly withdraw into their enclaves, denying
the poor access to safe drinking water, sanitation and health services.
The quality and quantity of water and the disposal of solid waste are
major worries in the small island countries and territories of the Caribbean.
Unchecked air pollution has serious and costly health impacts, especially
for urban populations (see chart above).
In a world of Policy First, measures to curb urban migration and
to improve public transportation systems and the collection, disposal
and recycling of domestic and industrial wastes, diminish - but do not
eliminate - the vulnerability of cities and their inhabitants to human-induced
and natural disasters. More success is achieved in a world of Sustainability
First. Air pollution declines due to effective regulation and targeted
technological progress. The dissemination of sound knowledge and scientific
advice, and the transfer of appropriate technology, further improve waste
management. Waste generation declines in relative terms and its quality
and composition allows for higher rates of reuse, recycling and use in
energy production. Finally, more equitable distribution of income and
wealth between urban and rural areas has a moderating effect on rural-to-urban