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Urbanization | Advantages of urbanization | Global urbanization

We explain what urbanization is and what are the causes of global urbanization. Also, its advantages and disadvantages.

Urbanization

What is urbanization

Urbanization is the process of concentration of a nation’s population and its main economic activities in a city context, rather than a rural one.

This process began gradually in the world from the entry of the Modern Age and the consolidation of its new industrial values ​​(the Industrial Revolution) , and is currently the prevailing way of life in industrialized countries and even in those in process of development.

Since the mid-twentieth century, more people have lived in urban contexts in the world ( 54% of the world population ) than in rural locations, and even future projections point to just a third of the world population in rural environments by the year 2040. This represents a significant change from the world trend of past centuries, which favored rural life.

It is estimated that this boom in urban life has reached its historical peak in the last six decades, going hand in hand with globalization and the technological revolution, which is openly committed to an urban future. This has an undeniable impact on our values , our way of living and on the footprint we leave from our passage through the planet.There is also the phenomenon of counter-urbanization or ruralization , which occurs when there is an exodus from the cities to the rural area, but it occurs only in very specific historical conditions.

Types of urbanization

From an ecological point of view, a distinction is made between two modes of urbanization: sustainable and unsustainable . The first aims at processes of urban life that cohabit with the natural environment and the ecosystem , trying to do as little damage as possible. The second, on the other hand, does not take these concerns into account, so it has a notorious environmental impact .

Other distinctions when talking about urbanization can be:

Rural development : It occurs when the city exerts influence on the rural areas that surround it, but since its costs are so high, many of the economic and experiential activities that normally occur in its interior begin to be located on rural terrain, such as urban islands in the rural area.

Preurbanization : It is about the appearance of spaces within the city that do not fulfill traditional commercial , habitability or industrial purposes , but that provide a kind of “intermediate space” to the city, such as parks, transit facilities, highways, etc.

Suburbanization : Also called urbanization by spill, it consists of the spread of the city towards the rural territories due to the excess of housing concentration in the city, for which new low- density remote neighborhoods are founded , connected to the urban nucleus by fast roads.

Causes of urbanization

Global urbanization responds to various causes, such as:

The population increase in recent centuries, which expands cities and generates new demand for housing.

The industrialization mass, which replaced rural jobs by machinery and opened new opportunities in urban bureaucratic administration, commerce and mass manufacturing, better paid and less effort.

Greater urban diversity, facing increasingly complex cities that involve greater entertainment prospects.

Greater incidence of basic services, and therefore a more modern standard of living.

Expansion of post-industrial culture thanks to globalization.

Global urbanization responds to various causes, such as:

The population increase in recent centuries, which expands cities and generates new demand for housing.

The industrialization mass, which replaced rural jobs by machinery and opened new opportunities in urban bureaucratic administration, commerce and mass manufacturing, better paid and less effort.

Greater urban diversity, facing increasingly complex cities that involve greater entertainment prospects.

Greater incidence of basic services, and therefore a more modern standard of living.

Expansion of post-industrial culture thanks to globalization.

Urbanization has positive and negative consequences, which we will see separately:

Advantages of urbanization

Sustained growth : The growth of cities is accompanied by a greater demand for basic services and consumer goods , which generates a larger market to satisfy.

Population concentration : Cities are areas that are more controllable by the States and are more easily covered by service or distribution networks, since the population is concentrated in a few kilometers around.

Labor complexity : The job market in the city is much more diverse and varied than in rural areas, thus allowing the development and complexity of industrial, commercial and service activities.

Disadvantages of urbanization

Impoverishment of agriculture : The general preference for the urban life model tends to be to the detriment of rural life, which is impoverished and abandoned in many cases, since in some cases industry can supply its activities (as in importing countries).

Greater urban poverty : The migration from rural areas to cities affects the quality of life of these, since often the alleged opportunities are scarce and migration rural marginal increases belts of large cities.

Environmental impact : By concentrating the population in a few kilometers, the impact on air , water and landquality is maximized, which in turn affects the health of the population and the ecosystem .

Consumption maximization : The demand for electricity and fuel is much higher in cities, which affects world markets for raw materials and the adverse effects of available electricity generation methods.

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