Physical geography can affect the human lives in both positive and negative ways. Rivers, lakes, mountains, hills, streams and even the general landscape can make the lives of people living in the area better and sometimes worse. In the past, there have been evidence effects of physical geography on human beings with extreme conditions such as flooding causing damage to properties and leading to losing of lives. In this research paper, the focus will be on the Arkansas River in Little Rock and its effects on the lives of the citizens living in the city.
Negative and Positive effects on human live in Little Rock
Wohl (2010) conducted a research on the impact of blue space such as rivers and seas on human and concluded that humans can benefit from such spaces because it causes calmness and can be used as a medication for agues and ailments. Rivers being that re natural environments can have devastating effects on human beings especially if not well managed. At the same time, rivers can improve the lives of the people living in its environs. In the case of Little Rock City, the river has more of negative or burdening effect on the citizens at the moment, and it can get worse in the future. The first impact of the river is it affects the living cost of the citizens. There has been a separation of two cities by the river. To join and maintain a connection, the government has been forced to build a bridge. For the bridge to be functional and ensure safety, there must be maintenance which is a cost the citizens must incur through levies and taxes. Building the bridge also cost a lot of money, and as time goes by with improved technology, the bridge might cost even more to expand and maintain. Furthermore, the bridge acts as an important connecting factor between the two towns. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the citizens to ensure it is in the perfect condition to avoid disasters and accidents. Therefore, the lives of the people in Little Rock on both sides have been affected by the river regarding the cost of living which could have been cheaper if the river did not exist due to smooth movement from one side of the town to another.
Another effect that the Arkansas River has on the people of Little Rock is time wastage. The majority of the citizens of Little Rock spend a lot of their time in traffic due to congestion caused by the river. There are restrictions while moving from one place to another. The restriction causes major traffic jams between the two towns separated by the river. If the river did not exist it is possible that there would be less traffic, and that means more time for the citizens of Little Rock to indulge in other productive activities. It is possible that the traffic congestion might also cause frustrations. Many Little Rock citizens may suffer from depression due to frustration caused by the way of life; that is as far as spending too much time of traffic jams is concerned. There is also the possibility that due to the ways of life caused by the river, several citizens may opt to move to other places to avoid being stuck in traffic most of the times. As more people choose to get away from the town, then the towns may risk being underpopulated and in worst case becoming ghost towns due to migration. Furthermore, lack of freedom of movement due to time restrictions can have an effect on the citizens who want to move to wherever they want and whenever they want to move. In the search for such freedoms, more people may be forced to relocate.
The two described effects are present effects which can be termed as adverse effects of the river on the citizens of Little Rock. However, the river has potential to have positive implications for the people of Little Rock in the future if the right steps and projects are started. Fausch (2015) emphasizes that Rivers can be relevant to human lives in many ways. One positive future effect of the Arkansas River to the citizens of Little Rock is that it can bring in revenue as a tourist attraction. Having a river that runs between two modern towns can be an attractive sight. As more people come to Little Rock to view the river and experience the atmosphere, the city will be opened up to the outside world which can lead to more investors and improved livelihood.
Another positive effect that the river can have on Little Rock and its people is that it can act as a source of water supply for industries and other institutions in both towns. Water is a valuable commodity when it comes to running industries. Furthermore, the river can be used as a source of hydropower and provide electricity to the people of Little Rock. In the future, the river can have a positive effect on the people. The lives of the citizens can be improved through better industries that increase productivity and electricity can be available at a cheaper rate. The Arkansas River can be seen as a separating factor when it comes to existence between the two towns. However, in the future, the river can connect the two towns better when it offers a way of transport. There are several rivers in big cities that are used as transport pathways. It, therefore, means that the river can improve the lives of the citizens of Little Rock because it will give an option regarding modes of transport. If there is traffic congestion, then the citizens can use boats to move to the other side of the town.
In conclusion the Arkansas River in the present has more negative effects than positive effects. The adverse impact has affected the citizens of Little Rock regarding movement from one place to another caused by restriction and major traffic jams. The presence of the river Has also had an adverse effect on the people regarding the cost of living because the citizens are forced to pay levies and taxes that are meant to be used in the maintain ace of the bridge connecting the two towns. In the future however if the city council of Little Rock plans and puts in place the right projects, the River can be a source of water, can be a tourist attraction and provide hydro energy which in general will improve the lives of the citizens of Little Rock.
Fausch, K. D. (2015). For the love of rivers: A scientist's journey. Corvallis: Oregon Uni. Press.
Wohl, E. E. (2010). A world of rivers: Environmental change on ten of the world's great rivers. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
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