Today urban areas — ranging from Times Square to a small town in India — cover perhaps 3 to 5% of global land. But Seto and her co-authors calculate that between now and 2030, urban areas will expand by more than 463,000 sq. mi. (1.2 million sq. km). That’s equal to 20,000 U.S. football fields being paved over every day for the first few decades of this century. By then, a little less than 10% of the planet’s land cover could be urban. “There’s going to be a huge impact on biodiversity hotspots and on carbon emissions in those urban areas,” says Seto.
The bulk of that great urban expansion will be in Asia — where more than 75% of the increase in urban cover is projected to occur — and in Africa, where urban land cover will be 590% above the 2000 level of 16,000 sq. mi.
Homeowners Luo Baogen and his wife refused to allow the government to demolish their home in Wenling, Zhejiang province, China, claiming the relocation compensation offered would not be enough to cover the cost of rebuilding. So, adjacent neighboring homes were dismantled, and, bizarrely, the road was built around the intact home, leaving it as an island in a river of new asphalt.
Farmers look at police from inside a monastery that they are using as a protest camp in Monywa township Sept. 12. Students have joined farmers and other people who have been protesting the seizure of land for a copper mining project in northwestern Myanmar jointly owned by the military and a Chinese company.
The protest in Monywa in Sagaing region has been continuing since August, but expanded this week in response to the detention of its leaders, activists said Wednesday. The primary issue concerns the confiscation of nearly 3,250 hectares of land for the Monywa copper mine project, an area which includes 26 villages and several mountains.
Emboldened by Myanmar’s changing political climate, farmers, villagers, factory workers and others are now staging demonstrations in various parts of the country over issues ranging from land confiscation to electricity cuts.
[Credit : Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters]
People struggle through floodwaters in Jakarta’s central business district on January 17, 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Thousands of Indonesians were displaced and the capital was covered in many key areas in over a meter of water after days of heavy rain.
[Credit : Ed Wray/Getty Images]