Urbanization is the process through which individuals migrate from rural to urban looking for better living conditions. Rural residents experience unusual weather variables that influence their livelihoods; as a result, many people migrate to cities in search of a better life. Cities, in contrast to rural areas, provide these individuals with an opportunity to enjoy a better life; there are companies, educational establishments, and state assistance that entice these individuals more (Andersen, 2002). As these individuals benefit from these essential assistances, they also confront issues as their population grows; thus, this study will investigate the benefits and drawbacks of urbanization.
Influence of Urbanization
Cities are renowned for being effective in that they take less effort to provide basic facilities such as power and clean water. People that move to cities have access to these facilities, which are harder to find in rural areas. Cities often make efficient use of space; many flats house a large group of individuals on a small plot of ground. There are additionally recycling programs that utilize waste products such as bottles and trash papers; this helps to maintain the city while also giving jobs to those who come from remote regions. People migrate from cities to the countryside for quick access to these amenities; with all of the social amenities, schooling, and cultural festivals, city dwellers live a smart and pleasant lifestyle. Cities also feature advanced communication and transportation networks that facilitate movement and interaction. Immigrants came to places with well-established environmental assets during the creation of cities; thus, most urban areas have a huge amount of resources surrounding and within them (DeBlij et al., 2010). Because of the quality of infrastructure and manpower in cities, such advantages are easily utilized, causing economic expansion and an increase in the living conditions of city people (Varthoulakis, 2008). The accessibility of these supplies and manpower from the town causes the expansion of industrial and service companies in the nearby region, producing jobs for the rural people (Savage, 2005).
Cities feature well-established institutions, institutions, and schools, making them the ideal location for human resource development. There are programs from many fields and levels, and individuals who migrate to towns have a wide range of occupations to select from; this implies that the majority of them will pursue a career of their choosing, increasing their chances of success. Students with a university or college education have a lot of career chances, and those who want to generate employment opportunities have a better chance of beginning enterprises or initiatives (Andersen, 2002). There are also a variety of financial institutions where people can store their money and take loans for investment purposes. This fosters a climate conducive to research and growth.
People travel to cities from many regions, faiths, and castes, and often live and operate alongside regardless of their differences. They know and develop each other as they dwell alongside, which aids in the removal of social and cultural boundaries, which are frequently the heart of disputes; because many individuals live in cities, a nation with multiple cities will experience less violence. Individuals who live in rural areas profit from urbanization as well; the majority of those individuals are farmers, and their agricultural products must be sold. They are constantly grateful for the presence of civilizations since they eat their farm produce in exchange for money which allows them to advance economically (Potsiou, 2010).
Barriers of Urbanization
Since the beginning of industrialization, the size of the world’s urban population has grown enormously, with urban areas drawing a vast number of workers and households in search of job prospects, learning programs, and higher quality of life. Large metropolitan centers first grew in Europe and North America, and then even bigger megacities grew in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. By 2050, it is expected that two-thirds of the worldwide people, or even more than half of all people, would reside in urban areas. Traditionally, in comparison to their rural counterparts, urban inhabitants have generally been wealthier and healthier. Even though urban population healthcare has largely increased, not everyone has benefitted from these advancements. Pollution, temperature extremes, and a shortage of safe drinking water and sanitation have disproportionately harmed urban slum dwellers, economically deprived individuals, and migrating groups, particularly in low- and middle-income communities nations. For these underprivileged urban populations, this may result in a “double burden” of infectious and quasi-illnesses (Sverdlik, 2011). Extreme heat, storms, and pollutants that plague towns are especially dangerous to the elderly, small children, and people with pre-existing conditions (Hajat et al., 2007). Urban Heat Island Effect (higher ambient temperatures in built-up regions compared to surrounding rural and suburban areas) and structural warming cause significantly more heat exposure for those who live in urban settings (Heaviside et al., 2017). Important health and environmental disparities between generations, socioeconomic groups, and metropolitan locations are the results of these factors working together.
Accelerated urban expansion has made ecological issues related to unsustainable land use, transportation, accommodation, garbage, and energy conservation worse. Urban pollutants exposure has been connected to higher rates of heart and lung illness and death as well as a cancer risk. For instance, extended exposure to urban air pollution lowers pulmonary development in children and lessens life expectancies (Pope et al., 2009). (Gauderman et al., 2015). Children’s asthma flare-ups and higher daily death in cities have both been linked to short-term air pollution exposure (Liu et al., 2019). (Bouazza et al., 2018). Pollution is a significant problem in cities as more people relocate there. When energy is scarce, some individuals can decide to utilize illicit electricity connections, while others turn to use wasteful heating fuels like firewood and charcoal, which increases carbon dioxide emissions (Marchand, 1998). An illustration would be the most polluted city in Europe, Kozani in Greece. As the population in urban areas grows, so does the number of cars, which results in a growth in diesel use and, consequently, a rise in carbon emissions. Cities’ growing populations cause issues with both traffic control and transportation. This can be seen in cities like Mumbai, where nearly 18 million people live and 55.5% of them commute on foot and 21.9% by train (Potsiou, 2010).
Urbanization increases the population on cities’ constrained land, which causes water problems and compromises cleanliness since the population growth outpaces the supply of water. In addition, as the population grows, fresh water in urban centers becomes more costly, and some residents choose to drink undiagnosed water from nearby flows, which can lead to diseases like cholera. This untreated water also generates burdening discharge, which results in an unappealing sight, foul odor coming from the wastewater, and flies that are drawn to the dirty water (Arnaud et al., 2004).
Additionally, the waters in these streams are polluted by untreated discharges, and they dump their waters into the sea, from which drinking rainwater for agriculture is obtained. As a result, those who drink seawater risk contracting infections (Marchand, 1998). Sewage was utilized to irrigate agricultural fields in New Delhi, despite the potential harm to people. Cities with large populations struggle to manage their trash. As an illustration, consider the city of Athens, which generates 6,000 tons of rubbish every day. As the city’s population rises, disposing of this garbage has become an issue. Many nations have decided to dispose of waste in landfills, which is an additional method of contaminating soil. Greece ran into issues with the EU for operating 1,102 open landfills, but they have since cut that number to 400. (Potsiou, 2010). Building cheap housing has become necessary due to the population growth in cities; however, most densely populated areas lack development laws, which has resulted in providing for the development (Arnaud et al., 2004).
Even if it slows down, urbanization is here to stay and is not going away any time soon. As a result, the best method to reduce the issues brought on by development is to prepare all the facilities and services needed to make the public comfortable without adding to the strain on both society and the environment. Instead of allowing cities to expand naturally, they should follow the fundamental rule, where expansion is planned. Planning by the local government for the city should ensure that there is sufficient infrastructure to accommodate the increased population and that residential streets are situated close to civic centers to enhance service delivery. A place-based knowledge of potential urban consequences and possibilities that considers the cultural and social environment of cities all over the world is also necessary for creating workable solutions. Furthermore, to guarantee that scientific discoveries are translated into workable, long-term remedies, strong community, policy, and commercial involvement are necessary. Urbanization, like certain other drivers of change, can positively impact every facet of environmental sustainability, such as the lowering of inequality. Rapid urbanization can lessen poverty and disparities when it is designed for and appropriately managed. It does this by enhancing work possibilities and the quality of life, including bettering education and health. However, if not planned properly, urbanization can result in traffic jams, increasing rates of crime, pollutants, levels of income inequality, and social exclusion.
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