Page 66 - Shashwat - Restoring Green Economy
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             the world’s population – 4.2 billion
             inhabitants – lives in cities and given
             the existing pace and trend, by 2050,
             it is predicted that urban population
             will become twice its current size
             with nearly 7 out of 10 people in the
             world living in cities.   6

             Presently, cities are struggling to
             handle the increasing population load
             and the related demands for goods
             and services. If this is to continue
             unabated, soon, we will be facing
             serious socio-economic, political,
             and cultural ramifications due to
             lack of water resources and forest
             cover (Figure 5). The early signs are     » Figure 4: Shrinking Urban Freshwater Body, Ghitorni, Delhi
             already visible in the form of shortage   Besides destroying the only source   centres are to continue with these
             of drinking water, internal water   of livelihood for many, such a crisis   sought-after offerings, we will have
             conflicts, erosion and landslides,   can further dampen the already   to, rather quickly, build a shield of GI
             increased waterborne diseases,   struggling tourism industry owing to
             crop failure, urban flash floods,   the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  around us.
             soil pollution, depleting air quality                          With the Smart Cities Programme
             induced by water pollution, and so on.  This aggravating situation calls   running in full swing, there’s
                                             for both new interventions and   a scope and an opportunity to
             The damage caused in terms of loss   reinforcements to support the failing
             of ecosystem services is beyond   GI. Cities and towns are considered   integrate sustainability factors
             comprehension – waterbodies and   the epicentre of economic activities,   more holistically into city planning.
             green cover are home to a variety of   technological advancements,   Mainstreaming environmental
             flora and fauna; they are the most   innovations, investments, and   consideration in developmental
             potent carbon sinks and our best   employments,  and if our urban   projects is the need of the hour;
             bet to build climate resilience. The                           by conserving, developing (even
             recreational, educational, and health                          constructing), and restoring the
                                             7   Mukherjee, M. 2013. ‘Urban India:
             benefits that the communities reap   Challenges for Green Infrastructure.’   green cover and waterbodies,
             from the blue and green spaces    For Central Europe towards Sustainable   including constructed wetlands
                                               Building. Details available at http://
             are numerous, and in the cultural  (Figure 6), we can pave the way for
             context too, waterbodies are integral   infrastructure/CESB13_1222.pdf   creation of greater dividend socially,
             to many festivals and religious
             practices celebrated and observed
             in India.

             The economic losses arising from
             the depletion of green cover and
             waterbodies can hit us severely.

               – city of Pune). International Journal of
               Geology, Earth and Environmental Sciences
             6   World Bank. 2020. ‘Urban Development:
               Overview.’ Details available at https://www.
               overview                          » Figure 5: Disappearing City Forests, Vasant Kunj, Delhi
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