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Name: Nancy Brashears
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Question:
With cities (and urban areas in general) there is obviously a greater concentration of people and human activities. What effect does this activity have on the environment? For example, with vehicles burning fuel, this must increase the ambient temperature. With buildings blocking the wind, this must also diminish the heat loss. With the caverns created by the buildings, this must trap the radiation from the sun. With the decrease in vegetation, the plants are not converting the radiation to cellulose. How significant are these affects and are there any others that affect the energy consumption and general environment in those areas?



Replies:
Fortunately, urban structures have a profound effect on the local environment - that is why we build them. Without shelter, life would be pretty hard in Chicago. You are right to point out that buildings and cities can have negative effects too - such as smog, water pollution from urban runoff, and negative social, psychological and health impacts of over-crowding such as crime, stress, and infectious disease epidemics.

Mortis



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