Asian cities face environmental crises: study

MANILA, Dec 13, 2006 (AFP) - Asia's urban population is expected to grow by 70 percent to more than 2.6 billion over the next 25 years, placing severe strain on services, according to a book jointly published by the Asian Development Bank.
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"Development in Asia is tied to the growth of sustainable cities," he added.

As more and more rural people migrate to the cities for work, traffic congestion and pollution will get worse, urban quality of life will deteriorate and poverty will increase, according to the book "Urbanization and Sustainability in Asia".

The book, released this week, said 44 million people are added to Asia's urban population every year.

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"Overcrowding has become endemic in many cities," the book, edited by two University of Canberra professors Brian Roberts and Trevor Kanaley, said.

"Urban poverty, associated with unemployment and lack of access to adequate housing and services, is an increasing social problem," it added.

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With the exception of Singapore no country in Asia has solved its urban housing problem, the book said.

"The most challenging problem facing Asian cities is meeting the demand for and maintaining urban infrastructure to provide access to good quality, affordable and reliable serv

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