Lecture 2: Urban Planning in a Global Village

Professor Wang Zhijia
Prepared by Bagas Dwipantara Putra, RMIT University

At the first part of his lecture, Professor Wang showed us a video titled ‘Home’ which told the creation of Earth, its physical condition that comprises the sea, land and air; the existence of the earliest life form on Earth; the life cycle (water falls-water evaporate-rain) that keeps the same quantity of water on Earth; the fauna and flora that live and depend on Earth for their habitat (coral reefs, forests etc.); the role of each species and how they are inter-linked to each other; the role of human beings (homo sapiens) and how they could bring benefit and destruction to the Earth. In the second part of the lecture, Professor Wang stated that for the past 45 decades the Earth has experienced acute changes due to humans’ behaviour, with cities – homo sapiens habitat – one of the most obvious products of these transformations. Cities consume lots of energy/natural resources (coal, oil, gas, etc), with cities in the US leading the way in the destruction of the environment due to their thirst for natural resources. Aside from that, the usage of fertilizer and petrochemical products also add to the destruction of the environment. Other countries have followed the unsustainable development models making the automobile the symbol of comfort and progress. If all countries in the world follow these models, then the result will be horrible for the Earth. Eighty per cent of natural wealth is consumed by only 20% of the world’s population. Excessive mining will exhaust the Earth; with global logistics also enhancing this phenomenon. The last 50 years have proven that human demand has exceeded the total amount of human demand in the past 200 years. We can see the destruction of Earth has slowly been happening, such as: 5000 people die because of dirty drinking water, more than 1 million people do not have access to clean drinking water, 1 billion people will be hungry, forests are facing rapid deforestation, etc. What we could do from the perspective of urban planning is to improve the city from numerous aspects, such as: the environmental aspect etc.

Keywords: Global Warming, Urban Population and Megacities.