ALL: Welcome back everybody to the G.A.O club with today’s issue on urban development!Olivia: Urban development is one of the top impacts on biodiversity. Today I have Gabby and Ashley with me to talk about urban development and their thoughts on biodiversity. So Gabby would you like to explain what Urban development is?Gabby: Urban development is the development of infrastructure, where populations move from rural to urban areas allowing the increase of the number of people living in cities and towns. Olivia: What is the main goal for urban development?Gabby: The main goal is to create thriving areas that can provide employment opportunities, housing, entertainment and also a community full of diversity, while reducing commuting needs.Olivia: Ashley you’re making a sour face over there… do you have something to add to Gabby’s point?Ashley: Well, on the other hand, urban development really increases traffic and noise which of course can disturb humans and animals. Also taking pollution into consideration which affects our air and plants.Olivia: That’s really interesting does this have anything to do with biodiversity?Ashley: Yes it does, biodiversity which is basically the measure of the varietyof life forms on earth. An example of this would be, the different types of plants all over our ecosystem. When a bunch of trees are being cut down for more and more homes and roads, animals are losing their homes and even their foods which leads to more extinction than we already have. Olivia: OK well here’s a question does biodiversity increase or decrease in the response of urbanization?Gabby: That’s a good question. No, biodiversity isn’t increasing or decreasing because we are protecting the endangered species while still in their natural habitats, for example in certain areas there are greenland and green belts that we provide for animals to live and have a safe environment.Ashley: I disagree, there is tons of evidence showing how the increase in urbanization can really affect biodiversity. 60% of urban land in 2030 is yet to be built which gives you guys tons of time to promote low carbon usage and pollution. Adding those green belts and small areas of land won’t be as beneficial. As this keeps getting ignored there can be big changes in the natural water cycle. Sewage and garbage is constantly dumped and spilled into bodies of water which pollutes water that animals and plants need, and can cause outbreaks of epidemics.Olivia: You guys have very good points between the benefits and costs on intervening with biodiversity but, back to urban development what are the pros and cons? Ashley: To start with the basics, too many trees are being cut down and homes of animals and food for these wild animals are being destroyed on the daily. From this, it is hard for them to live in cities because of the lack of forest spaces and have to adapt to the new environment. Some animals have to flee to another ecosystem which can disturb the biodiversity in that area and die off during travel. This can then lead to them becoming an an invasive species. Gabby: Urban development has many pros to our lifestyle. Urban development creates new businesses and an increase in existing businesses. This allows an opening to more jobs and better pay. Since businesses are close to one another this allows us to walk to place to place or take public transportation instead of using your car. Urban development also increases the growth of the populations because it attracts an increasing amount of immigrants. Ashley: Well if we are thinking about the economy, this new development can cause people to move out of old homes so they can build new expensive ones which these home owners may not be able to afford. It can increase the amount of poverty, you can’t just kick out people who have had homes here for years just to allow new younger people to fill their spaces. Gabby: Our goal is not to kick people out of their homes, it is to create more job opportunities so everyone will be able to work and get paid so they can have a better life and be able to care for their families. Olivia: Okay, okay ladies it’s time to calm down! We don’t need to be yelling and arguing over the economy of biodiversity. I think it’s time to close off the podcast is there any last words you would like to say about urban development?Ashley: I just believe that people like you should be worrying more about how much biodiversity is decreasing not only in Canada but everywhere around the world. As long as we raise awareness, people will be able to understand the issues you are causing and be motivated to make a change. Gabby: Ashley, I get what you are saying but we are making good changes by adding all these new things that will benefit people and their lifestyle.