How the Emergence of World City Systems Has an Impact on the Housing Market In the GTA

The Greater Toronto Area was ranked among 100 most populated urban areas in the world (the 50th place). In accordance with the census of population conducted in 2012, the total population of the area numbered 5,586, 721 inhabitants (those, who have been officially registered were considered, the people without fixed abodes were not taken into account by the census administrators). The area occupies 7, 124 km2 , and the density of population is 850 inhabitants per km2. It is considered by the scholars as the one with the most rapid tempos of urbanization. Annually, the population of the area is reported to be increased by 1-1,5% percent , what is considered comparatively high in terms of international statics. To illustrate, the urbanization scale of Tokyo hardly reached 0,2% in 2011, and Abu-Dhabi 0,7% in 2009 . The unanimous scholarly opinion is that urbanization is one of the most pivotal factors that affect the ecological and environmental equilibrium of the targeted area. The need to explore the causation between the ever-intensifying activity of the humanity and biologically physical balance of the natural ambience is among the most heavily addressed issues of the global academic and government research activities. One of the topical areas in the context of this problem is the disturbance and physical changes made by the humanity to landscapes . Relating to the changes made and being made, shall it be stressed that the productivity of the ecological systems can be reduced, natural species can be subjected to quantative and qualitive reductions in population or total annihilation. Moreover, constant growth of population substantially contributes to the deterioration of biological and ecological diversity, soil and air pollution, as well as to the worsening of the farmland earth fertility.

This part of the paper investigates the issues connected with the global village concept and provides the data that relate to the ecological and environmental impact of the discussed issue.

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The Concept of Global Village and Its Relevance to the Topic

The concept of Global Village doctrine has been elaborated by Professor Marshall McLuhan, and was deeply discussed in his fundamental study Understanding the media. In accordance with the postulates of his theory, the humanity has been totally entangled and interconnected by the internet and web-based technologies. To be more exact, the entire human civilization is compared with the village due to the fact that the internet technologies allow the people to get contacted within seconds from the remotest parts of the world, and the need to cover enormous distances has passed away . Specifically, the concept fostered by the author is that the international community has been almost united into one single conglomerate, and, therefore, the need for physical presence of the one at his employment position is no longer relevant . Moreover, the appearance of such web-based communicational tools engendered the birth of new social elements.

Population Growth in Great Toronto Area

Overall, the Greater Toronto Area occupies the territory that equals to 7,125 km2. In 2012 the population rate of the area was reported to reach the point of 5,586, 721 inhabitants. The following chart depicts the currently monitored and the projected changes in the population rate of the area in general, and the city of Toronto in particular.

The chart clearly specifies that the population of the area is indeed rising dramatically. The reasons of urbanization index of the targeted area are different. The unanimous scholarly opinion in that paradigm is that the people are migrating in search of new employment opportunities. The statistical study indexes that 71% of the formerly rural residents, which contributed to the urban sprawl of the GTA, reported that their intention to relocate is based on the employment and business reasons. The second reason of migration, which is particularly relevant to the targeted region, is the availability and the proximity of the well-developed infrastructure. This factor involves the presence of one of the most internationally exemplary healthcare system, entertainment facilities, transporting and communicational systems. Notably, a rather controversial academic opinion is that the urbanization is artificially constructed by the governing political social stratum with the intent to solidify its electoral base.

Ecological and Environmental Impact of Urbanization

The Greater Toronto Region internal biological and ecological systems are statistically labeled ad Greater Toronto Bioregion. The data used in the present analysis have been collected from the Statistics Canada data collection think tank. The censuses from 2005 to 2012 have been utilized to measure the growth of population, and the changes in the social structure of the targeted area population. As far as the changes in vegetation, flora and fauna diversity, soil erosion and air pollution are concerned, the data obtained are primarily based on the available works of the scholars, with the most validated and reliable data provided by CCSR ( Canadian Center of Remote Sensing). The analysis of the provided vegetation index data indicates explicit changes in the vegetation saturation of the area. To be more exact, the research indicated that within the period from 1999 to 2005 the vegetation saturation of the area was reduced on 13%. At the same time, the biological diversity was also affected, since the entire set of biological species was forced to migrate to the surrounding areas, and their population was equally affected. One of the most notable peculiarities of the Greater Toronto Area is that it is surrounded by the farmland. The unanimous opinion of the practicing agricultural workers is that further expansion of the city inevitably leads to the deterioration of the processes plots of land. With present tempos of the city population rise, the fertile farmlands are diminished by 1,5%-2% annually, while the quality of the those that remain is being lowering substantially due to the grown rates of the detrimental air and soil emissions. The leading environmentalists and the associated organizations allege that the biological diversity of the areas is negatively affected as well. The scholars in particular highlight the fact that the variety and number of different reptiles inhabiting the area is declining dramatically. The calculations indicated that once in 1994 the average number of reptiles occupying one km2 was approximately 100-140 species, nowadays that figure is about 80-90. It is evident that the decline is indeed dramatic, and unless serious government intervention takes place, the existence of this class on the targeted territory is indeed serious endangered. The wastes dumped into the waters, as well as the fertilization of the soil in order to provide the growing population with foodstuff, numerically and quantatively alter the natural habitats of the Greater Toronto Area. With regard to the situation with animals that are dwelling in the cities predominantly, the concept of "heat" center shall be raised in this context. While for the animals it is habitual that the average temperature of the natural environment is reduced at night, in GTA it remains relatively high. The convergent opinion of the biologists is that such environmental situation is in any case totally negative for the natural ambiance of the region, due to the fact that wild animals cannot adapt themselves accordingly.

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Speculative Analysis of the Situation

This analysis is aimed to evaluate current ecological and environmental situations in the rapidly urbanizing Greater Toronto Area, and provide speculations relating to further urbanization and the repercussions that are highly possible to ensue. Relating to the issue of government control of the situation, one can easily find out that although the gravity of the possible circumstances of environmental and ecological nature has been recognized by the political circles and by the scholars as well, no significant actions are taken by the government of Toronto to reduce the pace of this urbanization. The problem is merely comprehended and much spoken about, while nothing practical has been done insofar. Secondly, the sector that relates to the issues of environmental and ecological planning is still poorly governed by the authorities. The attempt to follow the Tokyo model of urban ecological intended and controlled urbanization failed, since the pace is chaotic. Having summarized the major points of the reasons that drive the rural population to migrate into the suburban and city areas, it shall be stressed that the reasons are gradually becoming less topical than they had been several years ago or several decades ago. To illustrate, affordable housing programs that were being once extensively promoted by the local government and national government of Canada (that programs included the exemption from obligatory tax payments when the real estate property was purchased within the territorial bounds of Greater Toronto Area and in the similar regions of other Canadian provinces). Notably, the medical infrastructure of the adjacently located villages and small towns is reported to reach similar levels of medical infrastructure and entertainment industry facilities. Although total similarity has not been achieved ever since, if due financial investment is provided either by the national government agencies or by the interested private institutions, the program can be effectively implemented and no discrepancy between the medical and healthcare infrastructures of Toronto and smaller cities or villages of the area will be present. However, it is unanimously agreed that the most decisive factor that drives people from the rural areas to the metropolis is the search for new economic opportunities and business-based reasons . To be more exact, the unemployment statistics for 2009 in the GTA adjacent rural units indicate that unemployment rate of the GTA rural areas do continue to grow, while the statistics in Toronto and other metropolises showcase that new employment opportunities can always be found. This graph demonstrates the correlation between the availability of the workforce in the region and the average unemployment rates of the Greater Toronto Area.

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It is evident from this graphs that nowadays the available workforce in the targeted area exceed the proposed job positions in the region on 4% almost. Only 6 out of 10 prospective employees seeking new positions will be employed. Secondly, the research indicates that the majority of the unemployed job-seekers are either directly or indirectly engaged in the communicational service of economy, which relates to the use of personal computers or other technological tools. That fact is particularly important in the paradigm of this study, due to the fact that namely this factor conditions the need of the professional to be physically present at specific geographical location, although this presence can be substituted by the use of the recent technological advancements. It is natural that a physical presence of single professional does generate the physical presence of other workers that service his interests, provide him with food and potable water, and help him or her to satisfy other interests. However, actually the presence of that professional is not really required since all the data or other informational result he is expected to produce can be transmitted electronically. Another aspect that shall be stressed here is the fact that under the concept of Global City ( not to be confused with the above discussed Global Village theory) , the cities extensively implicated in international business and trade by means of informational and other links, do risk to be heavily influenced by the global financial and other vacillations. Greater Toronto Area fully meets this criterion. With regard to the evaluation of the deterioration of the environmental and ecological situations of the targeted geographical area, shall it be highlighted that the impact is really tremendous, especially in the light of global environmental situation deterioration. Further expansion of the city diminishes significantly the biological diversity, reduces the vegetation index, and erodes farmland and wild soils and lands, hereby destroying the natural habitations of the wild animals residing in the area . Moreover, the increase in the average annual temperature of the region indicates that the Greater Toronto Area is gradually turning into the heat hub Canada , hereby contributing to indirect destruction of the flora and fauna species of the area, and general deterioration of the ecological and environmental situations of the area .

Conclusion

Having summarized the major findings made through the paradigm of Global Village concept, several inferential conclusions can be drawn. First and foremost, the urbanization dynamics of this region is really tremendous. Comparing to other urbanizing units of international importance, the growth of the Greater Toronto Area is immensely high, exceeding the pace of Tokyo, Indian cities and the Arabian ones , which have traditionally been ranked in the frontline of the global urbanization processes. Secondly, it is undisputed that the need to migrate from the rural areas to the cities has almost completely died out for two primary reasons . First and foremost, technological advancements conditioned the fact that the level of medical assistance and entertainment industry in the rural and in the city areas has been almost equalized, and no significant discrepancies between these industries in the rural areas and the city of Toronto will be possible to draw within a twenty years period provided that all due financial instruments are duly given, in accordance with the popular scholarly opinion. With regard to the most determinative factor of the migration, i.e. the labor one, the popular opinion of the academics is that in the light of the Global Village concept, the vast majority of today's professionals are capable of working from their homes. Of course, this rule does not relate to service industry, in where the physical presence of a customer or an employee is in any event necessitated, like food and beverages production, beautician services etc.

 

Most importantly, the environmental impact is colossal. The entire biological ecosystem of the region is likely to collapse soon, and the diversity equilibrium of the species has already been significantly shattered, since many species vanished eternally or migrated to the adjacent rural areas. The quality of the farmland and soils has deteriorated significantly, and the air quality although is not the worst internationally, is far from being perfect. The message of this essay was to demonstrate that the ecological systems and the environment are being destroyed in vain, since no practical need of further urbanization is obvious. Unless the prompt government response is taken, and strict planning is elaborated, the environmental situation of the region may turn become catastrophic .

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