Population explosion and overcrowding has become an ever increasing threat to the world today. Overcrowding describes a condition where space has become limited and therefore, has negative effects. The problem of overcrowding can be more threatening if it occurs in a area where people came from diverse backgrounds and are not civil with each other. Overcrowding is a serious problem. To illustrate, I recall a time when I was living in a college dormitory. There, I have to respect other cultural beliefs, practices and rituals (which may not be agreeable to me) otherwise conflict will become a constant occurrence.
The hardest part was adjusting to the attitudes of others especially those who came from dissimilar backgrounds and races. Attitudes can be the worse problem as there were those who were very sensitive, insensitive, moody, dishonest, and wasteful and use personal belongings without asking permission. Moreover, some acceptable habits, words and gestures can be a taboo to other cultures. Another difficulty that I had experienced is regarding the use of the dormitory amenities.
For example, if I do not want to be late for class, I have to wake up early in order to be the first to take a bath otherwise I will have to wait for those who does not seem to think that time was gold and that others were anxiously waiting for them outside while they perform their bathroom rituals. Study hour was also a big frustration as my roommates talked on and on and blasted their stereos while I tried to concentrate. In a larger scale, my dormitory experience aptly describes what America is currently facing and will continue to be facing with its growing population.
As a country that has become a symbol of hope and prosperity all over the world, it has become a melting pot for many cultures from Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. Many cities in America now had become congested with the influx of immigrants. The presence of Chinese, Japanese, French, Indians, Mexicans, etc brought into constant contact different practices, beliefs and attitudes which of course could trigger conflict and misunderstanding between neighborhood, workplaces and schools.
Because of these misunderstanding, which is often aggravated with the inability to communicate well due to language difference, there is constant tension and crime increases between races and cultures, especially among the youth (Katz & et. al, 2005, pp. 234,320). Another problem with overcrowding in the American scene is regarding problems with housing and increasing homelessness. Between neighbors, long standing residents will find themselves resisting newcomers and will have to fight over neighborhood parking, home upkeep and noise.
Long standing residents, especially the rich, will also have clashes with the housing enforcement officials regarding who and what should be allowed in their particular neighborhood. Moreover, with growing population, slums and ghettos will proliferate as many newcomers and immigrants will first settle in these areas since it is cheap and where workplace is near. The problem with slums is that it lacked amenities, can be the means for the fast spread of diseases and has high level of pollution.
Usually people who occupy these areas become accustomed to their unhygienic surroundings (Katz & et. al. , 2005, p. 313; Hirsch & Mohl, 1993, pp. 68-70). Other negative effects of overcrowding are unemployment, noise, traffic and pollution. There would be more people seeking for work and going about in the city. Work competition would be stiffer and traffic conditions can become worse as more people have the possibility to violate traffic rules. America today is now facing a problem with overcrowding in their prisons as more and more people are apprehended by the law.
Noise and environmental pollution would become an increasing problem for more people means there are more cars honking their horns and giving off car exhaust and more people contributing to waste (Katz & et. al, 2005, p. 324). To avoid overcrowding, rules are usually enforced. Most organizations or groups would limit the number of participants or members by specifying who should join and what were the requirements needed to be accepted. In America, overcrowding is mostly caused by the influx of immigrants so that immigration tried to tighten the entry of foreigners in its territory through stricter requirements and policies(Grant,1996,p. 10).
Regarding housing problems resulting from overcrowding, housing policies (such as limiting the number of house occupants) are also enforced (Gaile & Willmott, 2004, p. 165). On the other hand, some governments established rules that promote birth control (Grant, 1996, p. 210). Another way to solve overcrowding would be dispersal and decentralization. This two tries to discourage people from crowding themselves in one particular area by setting up situations and enforcing policies that would encourage them to settle elsewhere (Katz & et. al, 2005, p. 287).
One example would be the transfer of industries from urban cities to suburban areas so that people will no longer have to leave rural towns or suburbs and settle in cities to find employment. In the case of the wealthy Americans, in order to escape the noise, congestion and pollution in the cities, and to build better homes and live in a more congenial environment they themselves voluntarily relocated to live in the suburbs (Hirsch & Mohl, 1993, p. 67). Therefore, overcrowding is a situation that needs to be avoided especially if it occurs among people of diverse backgrounds.
Contact of diverse backgrounds has the tendency to result to conflict and misunderstanding because of the difference in beliefs, practices and attitudes. The problem could be aggravated with the proliferation of slums and ghettos, increased noise, traffic and unemployment. To solve the problem of overcrowding, rules and policies are established that would prevent the people from giving birth to more babies or encourage them to settle to less populated areas or prevent them to settle in a particular area.