Global Climate Change and Cities

  • Keisuke Hanaki
Part of the cSUR-UT Series: Library for Sustainable Urban Regeneration book series (LSUR, volume 1)


The development of the human life style and its impact on the environment has changed from the primitive era to the current, modern world. In the primitive era, nature was the enemy to overcome. Human beings were mostly exposed to stress by nature including extreme cold, disasters, floods, diseases and the threat of other animals (Fig. 10.1-a). Mostly, the history of human beings has been one of battling against nature. After the development of human society, humans started to form groups to live together and establish their territories. Humans started to maintain safe environments and obtain food within this territory by cultivating crops and others. Human beings started to influence nature at this stage (Fig. 10.1-b), though overall human impact was still limited. After the industrial revolution, the area needed for humans to develop their activities expanded because more energy was consumed, more food was needed and people started to travel farther. As the land area utilized by humans expanded, so did population. As a result, each city or village began to have a larger zone of influence and the number of cities increased. Nowadays, the area of influence, or human impact, overlaps among cities (Fig. 10.1-c). Nature can be found in only limited places, and now it has to be preserved. Most natural areas are impacted by human activities and increased population. Such human influence is now called “environmental loading,” which includes a wide variety of effects by human beings on nature. The emission of pollutants, the use of resources, threats to the ecosystem and land use changes are types of “environmental loading.”


Energy Consumption Life Cycle Assessment Carbon Dioxide Emission Environmental Loading Floor Area 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keisuke Hanaki
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Urban EngineeringThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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