Anthony Defends Megacities at Linn Co UNA


A significant percentage of the human population lives in megacities. This is particularly true in developing countries where large primate cities attract a huge percentage of the population. Megacities in developing countries often have significant problems, like deficiencies in access to water, sewer systems, electricity, schools and open spaces. Yet, while many national governments have enacted policies to check the expansion of megacities, they continue to grow. Moreover, environmentalists have recently begun to cautiously support megacities, arguing that their concentration of people in high density locations allows for the preservation of more land than smaller, lower density cities.

In a presentation to the Linn County United Nations Association (UNA), PPC Housing and Land Use Policy Director Jerry Anthony explained that megacities also consume less energy for mobility and produce less greenhouse gases per capita than smaller cities. He concluded that megacities defy a clearcut characterization as good or evil. He went on to present information on the quality of life challenges in megacities, prospects for meeting the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, and emerging trends in megacities.   

The UNA is a global organization with chapters in most countries of the world. The Linn County UNA was formed in 1945—the same year as the United Nations—and is the largest UNA in Iowa. Eleanor Roosevelt was the featured speaker on founding day.