The Benefits and Challenges of Urbanization
27 JUN 2018
The many benefits of urbanization come with a steep price tag if responsible urban planning does not precede development. Urbanization is inevitable due to technological advances and an increasing population. Industrialization allows people to make a living in methods other than farming; this has led to many people abandoning the rural lifestyle. Urbanization is a process that is occurring in nearly every part of the world inhabited by humans. It has led to a greater quality of life for many, but it also has its challenges.
1 What Is Urbanization?
Urbanization is the process of increasing population growth in cities and suburbs; it also includes the increase of industrialization. There is more involvement in government, industry and trade in urban areas. The word urbanization derives from "urb," which is the Latin word for city. The United States and Europe had the majority of urbanization occur during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. There is no universal standard of how urbanized areas are classified. In America, an urbanized area has a population of at least 50,000.
2 Underlying Causes
Living in a rural area provides less job opportunities. Farming is one of the major forms of income in rural areas. The unpredictable nature of environmental factors, such as rain and drought, leads to a fluctuating income. The standard of living is difficult to improve; therefore, families opt to move to urban areas. There is a greater variety of jobs in cities. Lack of space in rural areas due to a growing population also leads to urbanization.
3 Benefits and Conveniences
The convenience of goods and services is one of the benefits of urbanization. There is access to more educational and medical services, which allows increased literacy and better health. There is also less use of personal vehicles and more availability of public transportation. There is more social integration in urbanized areas. People of different religions, ethnic backgrounds, social classes and races reside in the same area. This leads to more understanding and acceptance of differences. Another benefit of urbanization is the possibility of greater earning potential because of the availability of more jobs.
4 Challenges of Rapid Growth
The rapidity of growth in urbanized areas is a challenge. Although there are more opportunities, the constantly increasing population leads to more competition. This leads to large amounts of people that are out of work and extremely poor. Pollution is an issue that plagues many urbanized areas. Factories and vehicles emit fumes into the air, which may lead to respiratory issues. The development of more area to build houses and businesses negatively affects the environment. The destruction of habitats displaces many animals. It may also be difficult to finance the increase of an urbanized area due to its rapid growth.