More than 50% of the world population lives in the cities according United Nation World Urbanization Prospects: the 2014 Revision they predicts that in 2050 this percentage will reach 66% . And there are still more. The same analysis of the international organization foresees that in 2030 there will be 41 megacities(cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) and in just six years the percentage of urban population in this type of cities will increase from 11.7% (in 2014) to 14.4% (in 2020). There are a number of pros and cons (advantages and disadvantages to urbanisation this article will take a look at them .
The concept of urbanisation ?
Simultaneously with the demographic explosion, there is a process of urbanization of the world population.Urbanization process refers to the concentration of population and its activities (social, cultural and economic) in different cities .
The process of urbanization in the history of humanity is extremely recent, and has as determinants the movement (emigration) of people from the countryside, to the different cities in search of new opportunities to develop the economy , since in the Urban areas tend to have more jobs and opportunities than in the middle of rural areas where population density is very low.
Other factors that determine the process of urbanization or urban growth are access to higher quality services such as: clean water (sanitation), better medical care, higher levels of educational quality , and a lifestyle with access to larger leisure centers and entertainment (cinemas, theaters, shoppings, sports, etc.).
Other useful terms are:
Hyperurbanization – a zone of uncontrolled development of urban settlements and overloading the natural landscape (violated the ecological balance).
False urbanization is often used to describe the situation in developing countries. In this case, urbanization is associated not so much with the development of urban functions as with the “pushing out” of the population from rural areas as a result of relative agrarian overpopulation.
Hyperurbanization is characteristic of developed, false urbanization – for developing trans.
Advantages and disadvantages urbanisation in the world
Lets first look at the advantages
The urbanization process has many advantages or benefits for the individuals , families and companies that are involved in it. Among them are:
- The convenience of goods and services is one of the benefits of urbanisation. In urban areas there is better access to public health and general health care which is lacking in many urban areas .
- The process of urbanization contributes to an increase in labor productivity, allows solving many social problems of society.
- People who live in urban area tend to earn due to the availability of more jobs.
- Better possibilities to boost the economy: being closer to businesses and industries, people who come from the countryside can explore more possibilities to increase their current income, either by being in contact with closest customers, or by obtaining jobs in new Business.
- Better sanitary services : potable water, sanitation, transport of waste , recycling of garbage, etc.
- Another benefit of urbanization is that the tight grouping of people allows social and cultural integration at a level not available to the extended populations in rural areas.
- As the economy increases, the whole society benefits from internal improvements, either through a richer tax base or through competition between private organizations.
- Urbanization offers real economic opportunities to people who would otherwise be destined to subsist without hope of economic improvement.
- Another advantage of urbanisation is that it improve technology at a faster rate . The reason being because of the increase of the population , investment by international companies there is a need to speed up communication , marketing and dissemination of goods and services.
- Reduction of the cost of transporting goods for companies, lowering the transportation of their products is a key factor, something that was already one of the main reasons for the spatial concentration of companies during industrialization and that is accompanied by urbanization. Companies also would have a shorter distance to transport their products since everyone is in the urban area .Most urban area have good infrastructure unlike rural area which is another factor that reduces transportation cost.
- Lower cost of losing a job the concentration of workers is another pro, because if a person loses the job, it will be easier to find another if there is a greater number of companies in the city.
- Creation and dissemination of knowledge cities have an important role as creators of knowledge. In addition, they play a key role in its dissemination, since, despite living in an increasingly interconnected world, the geographical proximity of individuals in a city facilitates the propagation of ideas.
Lets not look at the disadvantages
- An impact on the environment and quality of life, pollution in cities is greater due to traffic, congestion of vehicles and poor collection of waste; cities often exceed the natural capacity to absorb waste, which harms health; cities demand land, water and natural resources that are disproportionately high than the surface they occupy due to high incomes and consumption and the large size of the population.
- Price of the home: the price of homes is one of the main elements that are affected by the agglomeration in cities. Thus, living in a big city is always more expensive than in small urban centers.
- Cost of mobility , this is greater in large cities, a factor that in fact decisively influences the first point (the price of housing), since the price you are willing to pay for a house depends largely on the displacement cost.
- Crime index, there is documentation that confirms the existence of a positive relationship between crime and the size of the city.
- Pollution’ according to a WHO study, more than 80% of people living in urban areas are exposed to levels of pollution that exceed those recommended by the same organization.
- Poverty ,since urbanization is linked to the increase in urban poverty; the great inequality in cities; the poor live in informal settlements crammed and in poor conditions because the housing costs .
- Floods , urban centers have extensive areas covered by concrete and asphalt, making it difficult to infiltrate rainwater into the soil. The rains in large proportions cause a very large accumulation of water and the rain gutters can not absorb all the flood and these invade residences, public buildings, tunnels and compromise the traffic.
- A strain on infrastructure , once there is overpopulation there will be an increase in movement which can quickly destroy roads and bridges .
- Hot and humid environment , because everyone is crammed in one central area there is a reduction in the flow of air which results in a humid weather .
- Less arable land, as populations swell the need for land to build house and industries increases thus reducing land for agriculture . The land that is left for agriculture uses a lot of fertilisers to increase food production thus devaluing the quality of agriculture land.
- Human trafficking and prostitution ,prostitution has been always an integral part of urbanization .The more a society open up to the world and new cultures become integrated the more complex are the crimes which are prostitution and human trafficking . Many person are also trafficked to city with the promise of good paying jobs or other opportunities only to be pushed into prostitution or slavery.