Cities in Nature
The passage below describes some of the broad effects of urban growth on the environment. As you read, consider the potential impact of development in a desert.
The direct environmental consequences of dispersed development patterns can be divided into two broad categories: habitat loss and fragmentation, and adverse effects on water resources. Housing developments, roads, and associated infrastructure have destroyed existing forests and vegetation, and displaced or eliminated wildlife populations. Road construction has fragmented natural habitats, causing a decline in the diversity and abundance of populations. In the span of only about three human generations, we have witnessed the extinction of nearly 1 percent of the nation’s flowering plants, more than 3 percent of our birds, and about 12 percent of the U.S.’s freshwater mussels.
Source: Environmental Protection Agency. “Our Built and Natural Environments: A Technical Review of the Interactions between Land Use, Transportation, and Environmental Quality.” January 2001.
Questions:1. Identify at least three major environmental impacts that a modern city has on the environment.