Urbanization refers to an increase in population in cities and towns versus rural areas. It is the gradual increase in the proportion of people living in urban areas. There are many causes of urbanization;reasons that make people move from rural areas to urban areas. These reasons include; industrialization,commercialization, social benefit and services, employment opportunities, modernization and changes in the mode of living and rural-urban transformation. This movement of people from rural to has a lot of effects;both positive and negative.
However there are more negative results of urbanization as compared to the positive ones.some of the positive effects include creation of employment opportunities, technological and infrastructural advancements, improved transportation and communication, quality educational and medical facilities and finally improved standards of living. However, extensive urbanization mostly results in adverse effects such as; housing problems, overcrowding, unemployment, development of slums, water and sanitation problems, poor health and spread of diseases, traffic congestion and urban crime. However, such adverse effects of urbanization can be solved by things such as the provision of essential services in rural areas and the creation of jobs in those areas.
Urbanisation has many different definitions. Urbanization can refer to the process by which towns and cities are formed and become larger as more and more people begin living and working in central areas. However, Urbanization can also mean that it is the process by which more and more people leave the countryside to live in cities. The second meaning takes the topic of discussion and it is the one I am much interested in. There are many reasons that make people move from the countryside to urban areas. What exactly makes people move from rural to urban areas and what are the outcomes of such movements? These reasons of urbanization are soo different as they vary from a person to another depending on the different needs of the people.
Industrilisation is a trend representing a shift from the old agricultural economics to the nonagricultural economy, which creates a modernized society. Through the industrial revolution, more people have been attracted to move from rural to urban areas on the account of improved employment opportunities. Industrialisation has increased employment opportunities by giving people the chance to work in modern sectors in job categories that aids to stir economic development.
Commerce and trade play a major role in urbanization.The distribution of goods and services and commercial transactions in the modern era has developed modern marketing institutions and exchange methods that have tremendously given rise to the growth of towns and cities. It comes with the perception that the towns and cities offer better commercial opportunities and returns compared to the rural areas.
Social benefits and services
There are numerous social benefits attributed to living in the cities and towns. The mentality that life in cities is accompanied by things such as better educational facilities, better living standards, better sanitation and housing, better healthcare,better recreation facilities and a better life in general. On this account, more and more people are prompted to migrate into cities and towns to obtain the wide variety of social benefits and services which are mostly unavailable in the rural areas. Employment opportunities in cities and towns, there are ample job opportunities that continually draw people from the rural areas to seek a better livelihood. Therefore, the majority of people frequently migrate into urban areas to access well-paying jobs as urban areas have countless employment opportunities in all developmental sectors such as public health, education, transport, sports and recreation, industries and business enterprises. Services and industries generate and increase higher value-added jobs and this leads to more employment opportunities.
Modernization and changes in the mode of living
Modernization play a very important role in the process of urbanization. As urban areas become more technology savvy together with highly sophisticated communication, infrastructure medical facilities, dressing code, enlightenment, liberalization, and other social amenities availability, people believe they can lead a happy life in cities. In urban areas, people also embrace changes in the modes of living namely residential habits, attitudes, dressing, food and beliefs. As a result, people migrate to cities and the cities grow by absorbing the growing number of people day after day.
As localities become more fruitful and prosperous due to the discovery of minerals, resource exploitation, or agricultural activities,cities start emerging as the rural areas transform to urbanism. The increase in productivity leads to economic growth and higher value-added employment opportunities. This brings about the need to develop better infrastructure, better educational institutions, better health facilities, better transportation networks, the establishment of banking institutions, better governance, and better housing. As this takes place, rural communities start to adopt the urban culture and ultimately become urban centers that continue to grow as more people to such locations in search of a better life.
Urbanization yields several positive effects if it happens within the appropriate limits. Some of the positive implications of urbanization therefore include; Creation of employment opportunitiesThis jobs that are created help the country to reduce the rate of unemployment thus increasing the country’s Gross domestic product and the country’s improved national income in general therefore better standards of living are felt within the country.
Technological and infrastructural advancements
When people to urban centers they bring about increased trade affairs which intern calls for improving technology and other infrastructural services. For example due to the congestion in urban centers the government is forced to improve the efficiency of roads which makes the facilities far much better. Improved transportation and communicationThis is brought about by the large population in Urban areas, to ease congestion the government develops so many ways of transportation like the railway and the airports. Improved standard of living jobs created in urban centers helps many people to earn a living and therefore experience a standard life. The people reduce the dependency ratio as most of them earn salaries or rewards that they use to account for their living needs. However extensive urbanization mostly results in adverse effects as below.
Urbanization attracts people to cities and towns which lead to high population increase. With the increase in the number of people living in urban centers, there is a continued scarcity of houses. This is due to insufficient expansion space for housing and public utilities, poverty, unemployment and costly building materials which can only be afforded by few individualsOvercowdingIvercrowding is a situation whereby a huge number of people live in a small space. This form of congestion in urban areas is consistent because of overpopulation and it is an aspect that increases day by day as more people and immigrants move into cities and towns in search of a better life.
Most people from rural or undeveloped areas always have the urge of migrating into the city that normally leads to congestion of people within a small area.UnemploymentThe problem of joblessness is highest in urban areas and it is even higher among the educated people.it is estimated that more than half of unemployed youths among the globe live in metropolitan cities. And, as much as income in urban areas is high, the costs of living makes the income to seem horribly low. The increasing replication of people from rural or developing areas to urban areas is the leading cause of urban unemployment.
Development of slums
The cost of living in urban areas is very high. when this is combined with random and unexpected growth as well as unemployment, there is the spread of unlawful resident settlements represented by slums and squatters. The growth of slums and squatters in urban areas is even further exacerbated by fast-paced industrialization,lack of developed land for housing, a large influx of rural immigrants to the cities in search of better life and the elevated prices of land beyond the reach of the urban poor. Water and sanitation problems because of overpopulation and rapid population increase in most urban centers, it is common to find there are inadequate sewage facilities. Municipalities and local governments are faced with serious resource crisis in the management of sewage facilities. As a result, sanitation becomes poor and sewages flow chaotically and the are drained into neighboring streams, rivers, lakes or seas.
Eventually, communicable diseases such as typhoid, dysentery,plague, and diarrhea spread very fast leading suffering and even deaths. Poor health and spread of diseases social, economic and living conditions in congested urban areas affect access and utilization of public health care services. slum areas in particular experience poor sanitation and insufficient water supply which generally make slum populations susceptible to communicable diseases. The environmental problems such as urban pollution also cause many health problems namely allergies, asthma, infertility, food poisoning, cancer and even premature deaths.
When more people to move to towns and cities, one of the major challenges posed is in the transport system. More people means an increased number of vehicles which leads to traffic congestion and vehicular pollution. Many people in urban areas drive to work and this creates a severe traffic problem, especially during the rush hours, also as the cities grow in dimension, people will move to shop and access other social needs/wants which often cause traffic congestion and blockage. Urban crime issues of lack of resources, overcrowding, unemployment,poverty, and lack of social services and education habitually lead to many social problems including violence, drug abuse, and crime. Most of the crimes such as murder, rape, kidnapping, riots, assault, theft, robbery, and hijacking are reported to be more prominent in the urban vicinities. Besides,poverty-related crimes are the highest in fast-growing urban regions. These acts of urban crime normally upset the peace and tranquility of cities and towns.
In as much as urbanization has many adverse effects , they can actually try to be solved by some of the following factors building sustainable and environmentally friendly cities.
Provision of essential services
Creation of more jobs both in urban and rural areas population control to reduce the general population in urban centers.
Generally, in as much as the world craves for urbanization, there are too extensive challenges accompanied by it especially in the country’s that are densely populated. The government should try its best to make rural areas more developed and provide better services in the countryside so as to try and control congestion in the urban centers. Young people should also embrace the manual jobs and avoid greed of the white collar jobs so as to help develop the countrysides.