Society has changed tremendously in the last couple of centuries. Our ingenuity has changed the landscape beyond recognition. Industrialization, mass production and great inventions are among the factors that have allowed human communities to grow dramatically in size.
While certain developments have improved well-being and quality of life, others have posed serious challenges to both. Today, these challenges concern developed and developing nations alike. Our growing numbers, and mostly unsustainable lifestyles, aggravate many of the problems communities face.
While people keep moving to urban areas, these areas cannot keep up with the demand for affordable housing. Many end up in poor housing, and it is feared that green spaces will disappear to meet housing demand. Poor housing conditions give rise to mental and physical health problems, exacerbated by waste and pollution.
As population grows, communities face further problems, because transport infrastructure becomes increasingly congested. Transport constraints have a negative impact on well-being, while vehicles cause air pollution, which in turn affects health.
The increasing demand for energy also creates problems. The process of generating electricity is currently very polluting. The high greenhouse gas emissions produced are causing the climate to change, and that means communities are increasingly facing extreme weather patterns.
Altogether, this creates a vicious cycle of problems from which human communities must break free to maintain or improve their quality of life and well-being, without increasing the cost of living.
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