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Problems Caused by Urbanization Are a Necessary Evil

Between 2004 to 2022, many cities in the world experienced urbanization which has negatively affected these areas in different ways (Theodorou, 2022). The effects cut across the economy, environment, health, technology and social grounds. Urbanization has many negative effects, more so on the environment. The environment is diverse and negatively affected when people relocate from their rural homes and invade cities and towns, as evident in reports from China and the United States. Some evident negative effects include air and water pollution, destruction of habitats, health effects and decreased biodiversity. Though problems caused by urbanization are a necessary evil to social, health and technological dimensions, this essay looks deeper into the environmental impacts.

The negative impacts of urbanization on the environment imply that environmental degradation is evident in countries that have experienced rural-urban migration. When people migrate to towns, the urge to increase industries and the number of vehicles for transport increases. These vehicles and industries produce gases that add carbon monoxide into the environment leading to air pollution. World Health Organization argues that China is one of the most affected countries in the world, with less than ten cities not affected by urbanization in terms of air pollution out of the approximately 75 big cities examined (Rahman & Vu, 2020). Air pollution caused by urbanization is destructive to the environment as far as people and the ozone layer are concerned.

Water pollution occurs mostly in areas where people move to towns and invade the slums due to inadequate housing. When people concentrate in slums, they occupy every small space available to build houses and earn a living. Overpopulation leads to the dumping of materials everywhere. During rainy seasons, these materials are carried away to rivers and pollute the water (Theodorou, 2022). The contaminated water bodies are used by people in their homes for different activities leading to diverse negative effects on their well-being.

Overpopulation in the slums also leads to a lack of drainage, resulting in floods. When people occupy even the water paths due to inadequate spacing, the areas become prone to be filled with water. Lack of drainage acts as the breeding area for mosquitoes, and in return, the people’s health is affected. Different researchers have investigated the issue of urbanization in different countries, and their overall argument is that in areas where people migrate to urban areas, drainage has become an issue of concern leading to the emergence of various diseases. An example is Shanghai in China, regarded as the most overpopulated city in the country (Theodorou, 2022).

Urbanization increases the need for extra expansion of the cities. The expansion, in turn, brings the urge for more resources, such as timber, leading to the destruction of forests and natural homes for animals. Timber for construction leads to the cutting down trees, which impacts deforestation. Destruction of forests near urban areas to get more spaces for expansion implies less rain in areas affected. In many areas worldwide where forests are preserved, rain increases due to the diverse preservation of water catchment areas (Rahman & Vu, 2020). Rural-to-urban migration negatively affects natural habitats, leading to various environmental and animal effects.

A decrease in biodiversity is evident when an extra number of people occupy an area, more than it can offer. When people move to the cities and towns, overpopulation in such areas is evident, leading decrease in biodiversity. It refers to the decreased span of lives of the animals and components that form the general environment. Biodiversity affects the lives of entities emerging from the smallest bacteria to humanity. If such environmental components are affected, the environment is subject to various problems (Theodorou, 2022). For example, the death of important bacteria in the soil due to water contamination might result in soil pollution, which hinders the growth of different plants, affecting the environment.

In conclusion, the environment is highly affected when people move from rural homes to cities and towns for different reasons. Water pollution, air pollution, destruction of habitats, health impacts, and decreased biodiversity are some of the evident impacts related to the environment. People should find new ways of surviving in their matrimonial homes to avoid the diverse negative effects of urbanization on the environment and other aspects. Different government bodies should take responsibility for creating job opportunities and encourage people to work from their rural homes to avoid being subjected to the negative environmental impacts of urbanization.


Rahman, M.M. and Vu, X.B., 2020. The nexus between renewable energy, economic growth, trade, urbanization and environmental quality comparative study for Australia and Canada. Renewable Energy155, pp.617-627.

Theodorou, P., 2022. The effects of urbanization on ecological interactions. Current Opinion in Insect Science, p.100922.


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