The world is highly modernized and industrialized to make human life easier and more comfortable. Industrialization has been accompanied by air, land and water pollution. Pollution is a major problem facing many cities across the world, such as New Delhi India. Pollution is a global issue that the UN, governments and many other institutions are battling to contain. The level of air pollution is high in the cities and this has led to various health problems such as an increase in cardiovascular diseases. This has led to more concerns about the need to take good care of the environment by reducing pollution. Better employment chances and prosperity attract many people from the rural areas to cities. However, this leads to problems like environmental degradation in the urban areas. Strong planning in the urban areas and adoption of good practices among the city dwellers is essential in managing the cities to reduce water, air and land pollution.
The rapid increase in population of the cities has rapidly led to an increase in air pollution, problems in waste disposal, energy consumption and water availability problems (Livesley, McPherson and Calfapietra 29). Transport ranks among the highest causes of air pollution in cities because of its reliance on combustion of fossil fuels which emit toxic gases to the atmosphere. These gases pollute the air and this is associated with poor health outcomes among the city dwellers. Solving the issue of pollution in cities should start by identifying the pollutants because without them there would be no pollution. This may sound easy to say but difficult to implement as many cities have struggled to contain the pollutants. One of the contributors of the pollutants is poor decisions by city dwellers. In as much as it is true that they cannot solve the problem as individuals, they can contribute towards mitigating the problem. For instance, people prefer using their personal cars to work instead of using public transport. This contributes to more pollution especially when they get stuck in traffic jams and use more fuel. Reducing the number of personal cars on the road, will reduce traffic jams during peak hours and the number of cars on the road, and consequently reduce the rate of pollution (Basagaña et al, 18) However, some people are reluctant to use public transport thereby making it difficult to effectively implement pollution reduction strategies.
People should dispose off their wastes responsibly to reduce land pollution and minimize the effects of littering. Using biodegradable products and switching to organic products can contribute in reducing pollution. Governments need to formulate and implement effective policies for reducing environmental pollution in the urban areas. These policies should be aimed at reducing the costs of public transport and increasing the costs of using personal cars to go to work. For instance, the government can introduce tolls on weekdays and charge higher parking fees to discourage people from driving their cars to work. The money collected can then be used in environmental initiatives such as clean up and planting trees. In addition to this, the government can also promote the use of renewable energy to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels (Khodakarami and Parisa 21). Clean energy technologies such as solar and wind energy reduce the emission of toxic gases into the atmosphere.
Factories located in the cities contribute significantly to environmental pollution by releasing toxic smoke and other poisonous chemicals into the environment. They also release chemicals that pollute the rivers and other water bodies. This makes factories to be among the highest contributors of environmental pollution in the urban centers and as such they have to play an active role in reducing environmental pollution. The companies that own these factories should be compelled to adopt sustainable practices to reduce pollution. For instance they should dispose their industrial wastes appropriately so that they do not pollute land and water bodies. In addition to this, they should be mandated to install purification systems to ensure that they do not release toxic substances into the air. All their wastes should be disposed in a manner that does not cause harm to the environment (Fiedler, Paulo, and Henrique 33). Failure to do this should be heavily punished not just in terms of fines but also withdrawing licenses to make it very costly for them to violate recommended standards.
Government alone cannot solve the problem of pollution in cities, as this requires a collective responsibility from everyone in the society. Corporations and other stakeholders should help in raising awareness and educating people on the need to adopt sustainable practices. Their role in protecting their environment should go beyond following government laws and regulations by taking part in community initiatives such as planting trees and cleaning the environment.
People need to adopt good practices and understand that it is their role as individuals to protect the environment from destruction. They need to understand that the environmental pollution affects humanity as a whole and take personal initiatives to be part of the solution. This should be accompanied by formulating and implementing appropriate laws and regulations to ensure that there is strict compliance. This will help cities in reducing the rate of environmental pollution and improve the health outcomes of the city dwellers. These are effective solutions but some people are reluctant to use public transport thereby making it difficult to contain runaway problem of environmental pollution in the urban areas.
- Basagaña, Xavier, et al. “Effect of public transport strikes on air pollution levels in Barcelona (Spain).” Science of The Total Environment 610 (2018): 1076-1082.
- Fiedler, Paulo Eduardo Kirrian, and Paulo Henrique Trombetta Zannin. “Evaluation of noise pollution in urban traffic hubs—Noise maps and measurements.” Environmental Impact Assessment Review 51 (2015): 1-9.
- Khodakarami, Jamal, and Parisa Ghobadi. “Urban pollution and solar radiation impacts.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 57 (2016): 965-976.
- Livesley, S. J., E. G. McPherson, and C. Calfapietra. “The urban forest and ecosystem services: Impacts on urban water, heat, and pollution cycles at the tree, street, and city scale.” Journal of environmental quality 45.1 (2016): 119-124.