Humanity, Cities and the Environment

More than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, and by the year 2050, this number is expected to reach more than 70%. National Geographic’s photographic exposition is inspired by the phenomena of global urbanization and focuses on the three aspects of megacities—population growth, environment, and future prospects. The rapid growth of megacities has created jobs and wealth but has
simultaneously created fundamental problems that mandate cities to explore alternative futures. Most of the current problems of cities occur in relation to the global commons—geological changes, erosions of the earth from building construction, rising of sea levels from the global warming, and the over-proliferation of new species due to deforestation. As cities continue to grow, we cannot halt urban expansion. We must learn to pursue the lifestyles that can co-exist with a global ecology. In light of these facts, urban planners are paying more attention to linking green areas and bringing nature into the city. Urban interventions such as green gardens can transform lifeless rooftops into thriving green islands—new urban habitats created by linking natural ecosystems to city life.