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Science

Humans and their environment

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Sustainable development

Humans reduce the amount of land and resources available for plants and animals. This happens because of farming, quarrying, dumping waste and building.

Urbanisation

London's city skyline

Urbanisation means the growth of cities. About half the world’s population live in cities, and most of the population growth in the future is expected to take place in cities. It is predicted that by 2015, the world’s six largest cities will each have more than 20 million inhabitants. These are some of the effects of urbanisation:

  • increased pollution
  • increased energy consumption
  • land no longer used for food production
  • loss of natural habitats
  • decline of rural towns and villages as people leave them to live in cities

Sustainable development means improving our quality of life without damaging the quality of life of future generations. It is important to all of us, not just the other inhabitants of the planet, that sustainable development is achieved. This involves each of us as individuals, and careful planning at local, regional and global levels.

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