Beliefs, attitudes, ideologies, styles, and values connected with, and practised by people and organizations who spend a great amount of time on the streets of big metropolitan centres are referred to as street culture. When viewed in this light, street culture encompasses more than graffiti and street art, as well as street trends, street attire, and street cuisine. It is a broader phrase that encompasses both the term and the activity. Many metropolitan areas are held together by the bond of street culture.
Even though most components of street culture may be observed, understanding the fundamental meanings and impacts needs first-hand experience. Similarly, many acts taken by individuals on the street are discreet, and you must look at things from a wide range of perspectives, rather than getting caught up in the present, the intricacies, or your personal prejudices. You must also learn to value the richness of the urban environment holistically, rather than in a clichéd or touristy fashion.
As mentioned before, street culture derives from the lifestyle of urban living, which includes every good and bad that comes with city life. Despite the fact that cities offer many chances for people and families to succeed, city inhabitants suffer several health issues. Even medical and laboratory equipment in Malaysia’s city are insufficient to accommodate the millions that live in the city, both with homes and those who don’t have any. The fast growth of urban populations will be one of the most pressing worldwide health challenges of the twenty-first century.
The Urban Health
One of the most important worldwide developments of the twenty-first century is urbanization, which has a substantial influence on health. Over 55 percent of the world’s population already lives in cities, with that percentage anticipated to rise to 68 percent by 2050. Because the majority of future urbanization will occur in poor nations, the world now has a rare chance to shape urbanization and other key urban development trends in ways that preserve and promote health. This is critical, not least because a city’s most valuable asset is its residents’ health and well-being.
Nevertheless, the majority of the 4.2 billion people who live in cities have insufficient housing and transportation, as well as poor sanitation and waste management and polluted air. Other types of pollution, such as noise, water and soil degradation, urban heat islands, and an insufficient space for walking, cycling, and active lifestyles, all contribute to cities becoming major causes of a non-communicable illness outbreak and environmental change agents.
The Implications for Urban Health
Slums, which lack proper water and sanitation, account for almost 40% of urban growth, and 91 percent of people in urban areas breathe toxic air. When it comes to healthy eating, urbanization widens the gap between farm and fork, increasing demand for harmful, processed goods. Because of their reliance on fossil fuels for transportation, cooking, and heating, city inhabitants are particularly sensitive to the consequences of climate change. Due to their enormous expanses of construction and scarce open green spaces, cities account for nearly two-thirds of the world’s energy and generate 60% of greenhouse gases, and those inland may suffer temperatures 3–5ºC higher than surrounding rural regions.
The health of city people is jeopardized as a result of it all. Rapid and uncontrolled urbanization, as well as inadequate urban planning and design, are linked to the majority of the top 10 causes of mortality. Infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, pneumonia, dengue fever, and diarrhoea, as well as non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, asthma, cancer, diabetes, and depression, as well as violence and injuries, including road traffic injuries, pose a triple health threat to cities.
What actions can we take?
Cities can generate chances for greater health, cleaner surroundings, and climate action despite their limitations. Health is critical for encouraging excellent urban lifestyles, producing a productive workforce, establishing resilient and dynamic communities, facilitating mobility, increasing social interaction, and safeguarding vulnerable groups, hence strong urban policies must emphasize health. We are at a critical juncture in our evolution toward a more urbanized society, which necessitates addressing the possible health repercussions. We must act today to guarantee that cities that are booming remain healthy ones. Not only that, we should also consider the following:
- Use urban planning to encourage healthy habits and keep people safe. Create communities that encourage physical exercise, make healthy food accessible and inexpensive, provide universal health care, and enhance road safety.
- Improve the quality of life in cities. Improve urban living circumstances by locating residences in safe areas, improving housing conditions, controlling indoor and outdoor pollution, providing clean drinking water, and improving sanitation.
- Ensure that urban government is participatory. Ensure participatory urban governance through sharing information on health-related city planning, encouraging public debate, including communities in decision-making, and providing opportunities for involvement.
- Create open and age-friendly cities that are inclusive. Make public transportation accessible to handicapped persons, establish safe paths for individuals with special needs, build accessible public areas and structures, and encourage everyone to participate in active city life and sports.
- Make cities more robust to catastrophes and crises. Cities should be more resilient to catastrophes and crises by locating hospitals in secure regions, strengthening health centres to withstand known threats, preparing community emergency response, and improving disease surveillance.
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