19.20.21 | Taking a Global View

Here’s an interesting site to check out: 19.20.21. is an organization that will study 19 cities with at least 20 million people in the 21st century, compiling a five+-year package of “information on population’s effect regarding urban and business planning.” From what I’ve been able to glean from the site, 19.20.21. will investigate the trends of urbanization for the purpose of getting goods to markets faster and more efficiently in a globalized economy – which is not really a green-leaning idea.

Although there is hardly any discussion of population’s impact or how to better manage big-business, big-pollution problems (not to mention human rights issues), the information about population on the site is quite interesting. You can watch the largest cities change location from the years 1000 to 2005. The site shows how world population has exploded since 1900, and it gives important statistics – over 50% of the world’s population resided in cities in 2006.

When viewed from this global perspective, two environmental problems become quite clear: the effect of population growth is an issue that must be considered in any discussion about the health of the planet, and as the earth continues to warm (and sea levels continue to rise) many of the world’s largest cities will be in peril – especially in less-developed countries with few resources.

Hopefully 19.20.21. will put their information to good use. This kind of research will doubtlessly create opportunities for collaborating with earth-wise NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and companies that tend towards lighter impacts – rather than just offering marketing strategies on how to use global urbanization to increase the bottom line. Either way, I’ll be paying attention to their research.

For more on NGOs click here or here.



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