The development of human civilizations was supported by large numbers of people who lived in sparsely-populated rural areas defined by agriculture, fishing, and trade. Over time, as these rural populations grew, cities began to develop. Urban areas are defined by dense populations, the construction of multiple and often large buildings, monuments and other structures, and greater economic dependence on trade rather than agriculture or fishing. Even the ancient Incan, Egyptian, or Chinese civilizations, changed their environment in order to urbanize. Modern urban cities like New York City, Beijing, Dubai, and Paris are bustling centers of business, entertainment, and trade. However, the modifications humans make to their surroundings in order to urbanize such places can impact the environment in negative ways: pollution, disruption of water flow, deforestation, and desertification.
Explore the effects of urbanization on the environment and help students explore how human cities impact the world around us with this curated collection of resources.