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New towns going up in developing nations pose major risk to the poor
Date:4/10/2014

DENVER (April 10, 2014) Satellite city projects across the developing world are putting an increasing number of poor people at risk to natural hazards and climate change, according to a new study from the University of Colorado Denver.

Throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America `new towns' are rapidly being built on the outskirts of major cities with the goal of relieving population pressures, according to study author Andrew Rumbach, PhD, assistant professor of planning and design at CU Denver's College of Architecture and Planning.

The towns often sit in high flood risk zones but designers have minimized the dangers through land elevation, new building codes and quality construction. The problem, Rumbach says, are the informal settlements that invariably crop up beside these new cities and supply their labor force. When cyclones or monsoons occur, they suffer flooding along with diseases like cholera, hepatitis and dysentery.

"Clearly, we need to expand the scope of planning for these new cities to include the communities where the poor will live," said Rumbach, who specializes in dealing with natural hazards.

The study will be published in the July 2014 issue of the journal Habitat International and is already online at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0197397514000320.

Many nations are aggressively creating new towns. In India, the government has set an ambitious plan to build 100 of them with a million people each by 2020. Rumbach focused his research on Salt Lake, a fully mature new town on the outskirts of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).

"Kolkata's current perspective plan calls for more than a dozen new town projects to be planned and developed on the city's periphery, settlements that may eventually house more than four million residents," the study said.

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Contact: david kelly
david.kelly@ucdenver.edu
303-503-7990
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

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