You are on page 1of 7
English Language Programs – Academic English Program Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate
English Language Programs – Academic English Program
Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate

Unit 6: Megacities

Text

Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate Unit 6: Megacities Text David Ferris , Contributor 8/31/2012 @ 11:04AM

David Ferris, Contributor 8/31/2012 @ 11:04AM

Asia's Megacities Pose A Stark Environmental Challenge

The behemoth cities of Asia are larger than any in world history, and are growing so quickly that it is hard to keep track of how they are affecting the environment and people’s health. A new report by the Asian Development Bank tries to shed some light with charts and graphs that tell a gripping story.

The report, Green

Asia’s giant cities. In this post I look at the problem, and in a future post I will look at some of the report’s possible solutions.

(noun) in Asia,” is a sobering yet hopeful examination of the environmental prospects for

First, a look at how fast Asia is

urbanizing

(verb).

the environmental prospects for First, a look at how fast Asia is urbanizing (verb) . Created

Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012

the environmental prospects for First, a look at how fast Asia is urbanizing (verb) . Created
English Language Programs – Academic English Program Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate
English Language Programs – Academic English Program
Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate
– Academic English Program Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate Europe took 150 years to grow from 10

Europe took 150 years to grow from 10 percent population in the cities to 50 percent, while North America reached the same point in 105 years. The report projects that Asia and the Pacific will take just 95 years to reach the same mark, and notes that China finished the job in just 61 years.

The continent is forecast to add 822 million people to its cities in the first two decades of this century, a pace far faster than previous eras. China again takes the lead.

far faster than previous eras. China again takes the lead. Created by Karen Adam for RMIT
far faster than previous eras. China again takes the lead. Created by Karen Adam for RMIT

Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012

If Earth were a company where every

dweller had a share, Asia is already approaching a controlling interest. The continent had 46.2

percent of the

the next graph shows, it isn’t even close to topping out.

population as of 2010, and as

urban
urban

(adj)

urban
urban
of the the next graph shows, it isn’t even close to topping out. population as of
English Language Programs – Academic English Program Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate
English Language Programs – Academic English Program
Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate

This chart compares levels of

urbanization

among major regions over

time. By 2050, Asia and the Pacific may have 63 percent of its population in the city, which is about where the United States was in 1950. This indicates that Asia’s cities are likely to grow strongly for the duration of the 21st Century.

In 1950, the world had exactly two megacities, New York and Tokyo. (A megacity is defined as a metropolitan area of 10 million people or more.) As of 2010, the Earth had 23 megacities, 12 of them in Asia. By 2025, 21 of the world’s 37 megacities will be located there.

21 of the world’s 37 megacities will be located there. This chart identifies the world’s most
21 of the world’s 37 megacities will be located there. This chart identifies the world’s most

This chart identifies the

world’s most

cities, which is an important metric because a crowded population cuts two ways: It increases the city’s appetite for resources while also making it possible to deliver those resources more efficiently. Seventeen of

dense
dense

(adj)

Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012

the 25 densest (adj) cities in the world are in Asia.
the 25
densest
(adj) cities
in the world are in Asia.
Seventeen of dense (adj) Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012 the 25 densest (adj) cities
English Language Programs – Academic English Program Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate
English Language Programs – Academic English Program
Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate
– Academic English Program Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate The rapid growth of China and India have

The rapid growth of China and India have catapulted them into top positions as emitters of carbon dioxide, which is warming the atmosphere and tweaking our climate in dangerous ways. The surge is so strong that they are overtaking or approaching the older industrial centers of the United States, Russia and Japan.

industrial centers of the United States, Russia and Japan. A more immediate concern for Asia’s percent

A more immediate concern for Asia’s

percent of large cities that fail to meet the European Union air quality standard are in Asia.

urban
urban

dwellers is the local air quality. The above graph shows that 67

Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012

are in Asia. urban dwellers is the local air quality. The above graph shows that 67
English Language Programs – Academic English Program Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate
English Language Programs – Academic English Program
Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate
– Academic English Program Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate This chart shows how sea level rise and

This chart shows how sea level rise and more powerful storms both likely consequences of climate change will have an especially devastating impact on the low- lying coastal cities of Asia. As of 2000, the

Asian

flooding was 1.39 billion people, more than twice the number at risk in Europe, more than four times greater than in Latin America, and almost five times that of Africa.

urban
urban

population at risk of coastal

Coastal cities that are vulnerable to climate change are also powerful magnets drawing people from the countryside. Between 2010 and 2025, another 107 million people are expected to arrive.

and 2025, another 107 million people are expected to arrive. The impact of climate change will
and 2025, another 107 million people are expected to arrive. The impact of climate change will

The impact of climate change will also be felt in inland cities because of larger, wetter and more violent storms. Between 2010 and 2025, another 96 million people will move into these flood-prone Asian cities.

Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012

and 2025, another 96 million people will move into these flood-prone Asian cities. Created by Karen
English Language Programs – Academic English Program Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate
English Language Programs – Academic English Program
Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate
– Academic English Program Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate This chart details which giant Asian cities are

This chart details which giant Asian cities are most at risk of flooding, both coastal and inland.

What ought to be done to blunt the environmental and health impact of Asia’s burgeoning megacities? I will share some findings from the report later, but in the meantime please share in the comments.

If you would like to find out more, check out Forbes Magazine to follow the blog:

Source: Ferris D, 2012, ‘Asia’s Megacities Pose a Stark Environmental Challenge’ Forbes Magazine, 31 August, viewed 6 December 2012,

Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012

Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012
English Language Programs – Academic English Program Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate
English Language Programs – Academic English Program
Level 5 – Upper-Intermediate

Worksheet

Asia’s Megacities Pose a Stark Environmental Challenge

Read the text and make an entry in your Reading Journal. Make a note in your RJ of any videos you watch as well.

Consider:

1. Make sure you include the source of this article?

2. Note in the left-hand column, the main idea of the article / supporting arguments?

3. Note in the right-hand column, your thoughts about the author’s arguments / idea, do you agree or disagree based on your existing knowledge?

Discussion:

1. What are the implications of rising sea levels for Ho Chi Minh City (see table 6)?

2. What could be done to solve the problem of

3. Why do you think that the majority of megacities are in Asia (see figure 6)?

4. What can policy makers do to solve the problems of megacities in Asia generally? Go to YouTube and watch:

population density

(noun phrase) in HCMC (see figure 8)?

Asia's Booming Megacities Need to Grow Green to Survive’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW4uzHEWo_s

Record new vocabulary

1. Look at the highlighted words in the text e.g.

by context.

urbanization

(noun US spelling)see if you can guess the meaning

2. Check to see if you are correct by using an English-to-English dictionary or go online to http://dictionary.reference.com/.

3. Listen to the word/s as well so you know how to pronounce these words.

4. Make sure you record all of these words and their word families create your own sentences for practice.

5. Use this new vocabulary in your Tutorial to help you remember.

6. Pay particular attention this week to the language used to describe trends, make sure you note these in your personal dictionary.

Look at the Tutorial Questions for this week, which question/s can this text help you answer?

Remember to cite your sources in your Tutorial

1. Use reporting verbs to refer to this article so we know who your source is to avoid plagiarism.

2. It also shows that you have prepared for the Tutorial.

Created by Karen Adam for RMIT 2012

is to avoid plagiarism. 2. It also shows that you have prepared for the Tutorial. Created