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Section A Graphic Representation of Argument

MAIN CLAIM: Sustainable


and peaceful living can be
attained only when humans
move back into their natural
habitat and leave unhealthy
cities

Premise 1: A city is
deemed valid to exist only
when the net utility of the
city's population trumps
the net ecological footprint
that generates huge costs
to the city

Sub-Premise: Majority of
the city's population lacks
to contribute to the
betterment of the society
in matters of arts, research
and Maslovian ventures

Example: Case involving a


Japanese agricultural
scientist who had
developed a system of
do-nothing farming, and
provided for himself by
working just once in a
week.

Premise 2: Cities have a


detrimental impact on
human psychology, health
and behaviour

Sub-Premise: Life in
cities is unsatifactory,
chaotic, stressful and has a
long-term negative impact
on the future generations,
as it lowers human selfdevelopment and
potential.

Section B Summary of Argument


In his article The Myth of Sustainable Cities, Brandon Peele argues that in order to
make real progress as a species, sustainable and peaceful living can be attained only
when humans move back into their natural habitat, and leave the chaotic shadow of
unhealthy cities. According to Peele, a city is deemed valid enough to exist only when
the net utility of the citys population towards the enhancement of various resources
trumps the net ecological footprint that generates huge costs to the city. Based on the
writers assumption, majority of a citys population lacks to contribute to the
betterment of the society in matters of arts, research and Maslovian ventures.
Moreover, Peele claims that cities have a detrimental impact on human psychology,
health and behaviour. He argues that life in cities is unsatisfactory, chaotic and costintensive, and has a long-term negative impact on the future generations, as it lowers
human self-development and the potential to re-connect with nature and oneself.
Attempting to use inductive reasoning, Peele states an example of a successful case in
which a Japanese agricultural scientist who had developed a system of do-nothing
farming, provided for himself by working just once in a week.

Section C Evaluating an Argument


I strongly support Peeles view on the negative impact that cities induce on the health
and behaviour of its human population.
With respect to health, four influencing factors namely the natural and built
environment, social and economic environment, food security and emergency health
management services impact city-dwellers. (World Health Organization, 2010)
Beyond these indicators, poor health is also a consequence of the way societies
marginalize and discriminate against certain groups of people on basis of their age,
sex or disability. An example of this presented in the Global WHO Report after
surveys showed that the prevalence of HIV among urban women is 1.5 times higher
than that among urban men, and 1.8 times higher than that among rural women.
(World Health Organization, 2010)
Peele also emphasizes on the unnatural growth of psychotherapy as city-dwellers lose
touch with the good values in life such as self-purpose, satisfaction and happiness.
This can be validated by the following study undertaken in Taichung, Taiwan
involving human psychophysiological response to window views and indoor plants
from their workplace which concluded that when neither window views of nature nor
indoor plants were shown, participants suffered the highest degree of anxiety and
tension. (Chen-Yen Chang, 2005) Moreover, there is a correlation between human
behaviour and the natural environment, the study of which is defined as
environmental psychology. (Young, 2013)
However, an argument can be made in the favour of healthcare provision in cities as
compared to that in rural areas. For example, rural counties in the United States had
higher death rates from unintentional injuries, suicide, and chronic obstructive

pulmonary disease than cities. The age-adjusted death rate for unintentional injuries
amongst the rural American population was 86% higher than city-dwellers. (MS,
2001) These facts can be linked to the premise that effective healthcare facilities are
lacking in rural areas, which Peele failed to acknowledge. Furthermore, less than 11
percent of physicians in the U.S. practice in rural areas, contrasted with the 20 percent
of the population that comprises the rural American population. These recruitment and
retention problems in rural areas are related to factors such as lower salaries,
geographic isolation from educational opportunities, and lesser facilities, all of which
are provided in cities. (Survey, 2002) More than 20 million rural Americans live in
rural areas that have a provider-to-patient ratio of 1 to 3,500 or less and are federally
deputed as health professional shortage areas (HPSAs), while the recommended
provider-to-patient ratio is 1 physician for every 2,000 persons. (Program, 1997)
Peeles first key argument claims that majority of a citys population doesnt actually
contribute to the betterment of the society. This is backed up by reports that estimate
828 million people living as urban poor in slum conditions within cities, constituting
for around one third of the worlds urban population (World Urbanization Prospects,
2010). The urban poor as well as the mundane middle class create no value to arts,
research and other service reform issues, thus increasing the citys combined
ecological footprint with no benefit of reducing the costs associated with the citys
existence.
References
Chen-Yen Chang, P.-K. C. (2005). Human Response to Window Views
and Indoor Plants in the Workplace. HortScience, 40(5), 13541359.
MS, E. (2001). Urban and Rural health Chart-book. Hyattsville:
National Centre for Health Statistics.
Program, N. C. R. H. R. (1997). Facts about Rural Physicians. North
Carolina.
Survey, N. H. I. (2002). Rural and Urban Health.
World Health Organization, U. N. H. (2010). Hidden Cities: World
Health Organization.
Young, R. D. (2013). Environmental Psychology Overview Green
Organizations: Driving Change with IO Psychology. New York:
Routledge.