Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Despite the fact that on average less children are being born and calming messages that the population issue has basically solved itself, the world population is continuously growing. Around mid century it is estimated that approximately 70 per cent of the world’s population will be living in urban environments. This translates to an absolute increase of roughly 3.6 billion urban citizen today, to nearly 8 billion urban citizen by mid century. This unprecedented growth is going to have major impact on today’s urban societies and administrative boundaries. Especially coastal cities will feel an increased pressure while the urbanization takes another upsurge.
The geographical limitations and scarcity of land in these coastal areas pushes the extension of administrative city boundaries sea inward, making land reclamation a popular tool for these governments. Nevertheless, this expected growth and the increased popularity of land reclamation seriously endangers the remaining natural wetlands. Alternative solutions of creating artificial "human made" land by reclaiming, could be a possible direct solution for modern urbanism. As a result of the unprecedented growth, natural resources are getting rapidly depleted and sustainability is being compromised. Over the total run of history, approximately 65 per cent of the world’s wetlands have been in fractioned, polluted, destroyed, altered or lost by human activities.
This master’s thesis consists out of a deep, qualitative, integrative and contextual literature review. The literature review is focused on population forecasts, urbanization and growth trends, followed by an analyses of various land reclamation cases around the world. Though, the research will include a quantitative data overview this research is a qualitative research. The collection of the quantitative data regarding urbanization and growth trends will be done by using the database of United Nations, World Bank and Gapminder.
Land reclamation, as a proposed solution, sets off a certain type of trade off mechanism. Large reclamation projects on one hand serve as great boosters for the economy and urban development, while on the other hand, these projects have severe implications on natural habitat from both marine and land species. Social benefits can both be realized through economic gains by land reclamation or social benefits from natural preservation. This implies land reclamation has basically two dimensions: a socioeconomic dimension and a socio-environmental dimension. A tradeoff between these two dimensions determine whether or not a land reclamation project for a specific geographical location could be economically, socially and environmentally feasible. With proper integrated and inter related governmental land planning processes, strong environmental considerations and increased public involvement, land reclamation could be sustainably feasible.
Land Reclamation, World Population, Social, Economical, Environmental, Sustainability