Task: Option 2: In your opinion what are the three most profound challenges confronting megacities that are critical for their stability and for that of the rest of the world? Discuss the implications of these challenges for the future study of IR. (Page length 500 words).
Sustainability is the number one goal for world cities in the near future. From my point of view, the three most profound challenges confronting megacities in order to reach this overarching goal are issues that consider the areas of security, environment and poverty, being essential for their stability and for that of the rest of the world. Subsequently, I am going to outline these challenges with regard to their implications for the future study of IR.
1. Reduction of poverty
The basic challenge consists in a rapid urbanization, in particular with regard to the immigrating masses of poor and low-skilled people. Already 50%, i.e. 3.3 billion people out of a total world population of 6.7 billion are living in cities. And this number is expected to grow considerably – as the UN prognoses until 2050 another 3.1 billion people that have to be reasonably integrated into the world’s urban areas (UN 2008). Currently, around 2.6 billion people live on less than 2 USD a day (BpB 2007). Hence, local authorities’ major challenge for maintaining stability is to mitigate and relieve distress and poverty by means of adequate policies. The issue of poverty in turn has significant impacts on the following two challenges.
2. Environmental degradation
Environmental problems have reached global level. Phenomena like the greenhouse effect don’t stop at nations’ borders. Urban agglomerations as pivotal consumers are the major originators of emissions and thus, of worldwide pollution. But they are also the localities that can plan and implement respective policies with regard to land use, transportation and resources (see Van der Pluijm 2007, p. 26).
3. Personal security
Crime in general is on the rise. Due to “blurred” boarders globalization has also intensified threats – from illegal migration over drug trafficking to money laundering. And last but not least, since 9/11 we face a new type of global non-territorial terrorism (Al Qaeda) with regard to scope and impact. Major targets are, of course, cities. In consequence, transnational terrorism and crime networks can destabilize whole regions and countries. But first and foremost, it is urban areas being directly affected. Hence, it is incumbent on them to solve conflicts, because violence mostly happens in cities, there are the victims, and municipalities know the local environment best (Van der Pluijm 2007, p. 20).
- Quote paper
- Natalie Züfle (Author), 2008, The most profound challenges confronting megacities that are critical for their stability and for that of the rest of the world, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/180121