The Implications of Urbanization on Food Security and Child Mortality of the Urban PoorJune 16, 2011 By Kellie FurrUrban Agriculture and Climate Change Adaptation: Ensuring Food Security Through Adaptation,” of the edited volume, Resilient Cities: Cities and Adaptation to Climate Change – Proceedings of the Global Forum 2010, authors Marielle Debbeling and Henk de Zeeuw assess the viability of urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) as a method of climate change adaptation for the urban poor. Debbeling and de Zeeuw assert that UPA increases the resilience of cities by diversifying both food supply and income streams for the urban poor; decreasing the negative effects of “heat island effect,” air pollution, and urban flooding; conserving water and utilizing organic waste; and reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Given the scale and impact of modern urbanization, the authors write that “the integration of UPA into urban development and master plans, urban land use and zoning plans, as well as active maintenance of the protected agricultural zones…is crucial.”
In “Urban Area Disadvantage and Under-5 Mortality in Nigeria: The Effect of Rapid Urbanization,” published by Environmental Health Perspectives, authors Diddy Antai and Tahereh Moradi found a significant link between the mortality rate of children under five years of age and a poor and disadvantaged urban environment; such an environment is characterized by poor sanitation, overcrowding, a lack of access to safe water, and high levels of disease-inducing air pollution and hazardous wastes. Although urban living may increase proximity to health care and other social amenities, low- and middle-income countries, such as Nigeria, have overstretched their adaptive capacities and the result is poor health indicators. Antai and Moradi predict that the rapid urbanization of Nigerian cities will bring increased infant mortality, unless individual- and community-based policy interventions are implemented to counter the adverse environmental conditions of deprived areas.
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