Advantages Disadvantages Urbanization Essays

Urbanization brings with it several consequences – both adverse and beneficial. They impact on social and environmental areas.

Adverse effects of Urbanization

There is increasing competition for facilities  in urban areas, which results in several negative effects. Many people mainly farmers who move to cities in search of a better life  and better occupational opportunities end up as casual labourers. This leads to menacing problems of urbanization – the growth of slums.

Slums are urban areas that are heavily populated with substandard housing and very poor living conditions. These  result in  several problems.

  • Land insecurity – Slums are usually located on land, not owned by the slum dwellers. They can be evicted at any time by the landowners.
  • Poor living conditions – Crowding and lack of sanitation. This often contributes to outbreak of diseases. Utilities such as water, electricity and sewage disposal are also lacking in these areas.
  • Unemployment – Since the number of people aspiring for jobs is more than jobs available, unemployment is a natural outcome of situation.
  • Crime – Slum conditions make maintenance of law and order difficult. Patrolling of slums is often not on priority list of law enforcing officers. Unemployment and poverty force people to engage in anti-social activities. Slums therefore, often become a breeding ground for criminal activities.

Environmental Impact

  • Temperature  Increase- Due to factors such as paving over formerly vegetated land, increasing number of residences and high-rise apartments and industries, temperature increase due to increased absoption of Sun’s energy and production of more and more heat due to very intense human activity.
  • Air pollution-Factories and automobiles are most visible symbols of urbanization. Due to emissions of  harmful   gases and smoke from factories and vehicles, air pollution results.High amount of suspended particulate matter in air, particularly in cities, which contributes to allergies and respiratory problems becoming a huge health hazard.
  • Changes in Natural Water Cycle – When urbanization takes place, water cycle changes as cities have more precipitation than surrounding areas. Due to dumping of sewage from factories in water bodies, water pollution occur which often resulting in outbreaks of epidemics.
  • Destruction of Natural Habitats of Flora and Fauna – In making of an urban area, a lot of forested areas are destroyed  which otherwise would have been  natural habitats to many birds and animals.
  • We have extended the urbanisation to the sea also. This tendency is damaging the ocean ecosystem also.

Benefits of urbanization

Urbanization is not all bad, it has its benefits.

  • Efficiency – Cities are often more efficient than rural areas. Less effort is needed to supply basic amenities such as fresh water and electricity. Research and recycling programs are possible only in cities. In most cities flats are prevalent. In flats many people can be accommodated within a small land area.
  • Convenience – Access to education, health, social services and cultural activities is more readily available to people in cities than in villages. Life in cities is much mored comfortable, compared to life in villages. Cities have more advanced communication and transport networks.
  • Concentration of resources – Since most major human settlements were established near natural resources from ancient times, lot of resources are available in and around cities. Facilities to exploit these resources optimally also exist only in cities.
  • Concentration of Educational facilities – More schools, colleges and universities are established in cities to train and develop human resources. Variety of educational choices are available offering students a wide choice for their future careers.
  • Better Social integration – People of many castes ,groupsand religions live and work together in cities, which creates better understanding and harmony and helps breakdown social and cultural barriers.
  • New Markets-Internet has opened up  a new market world wide. Any one can sell in this market by posting  Free classifieds web   from the comfort of the home.
  • Economic Improvement – High-tech industries earn valuable foreign exchange and lot of money for the country.

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In today’s world, “urbanization” is a very common and discussed term. It essentially means the process of developing an area and making it more urban. Urbanization has been taking place with the evolution of man himself and it is natural that with the growth in population and scientific progress, the rate of urbanization is increasing by the minute. It is leading to a significant push of people from the rural areas to the urban area, increasing the concentration in cities. In an analysis by the United Nations, it has been predicted that almost all the population growth that will take place in the next 13 years, which is an estimated 1.1 billion people, will be absorbed by the urban areas. The urge in people from rural areas, to move to big cities, is due to the striking difference in condition of living and scope of work in rural and urban areas. While urbanization may seem like a good idea to some, it is far from being entirely so. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of urbanization are as given below.

Negative effects of Urbanization:

• As stated above, most people move to the cities from the rural areas in the hope of better jobs. Now, pressing issue that arises is that in most cases, the urban areas cannot supply as many job openings as required, which results in many unemployed urbanites.

• Due to large scale urbanization, it is obvious that the bulk of population that has globally moved to the urban areas is much more than what the cities are equipped to accommodate and support. This desperation to stay in the urban parts of the world has led to extreme land insecurity, with slums coming up on any land that is found empty. There is immense overcrowding and consequently very poor living conditions in these areas. In most slums, there is no proper sanitation, sewage disposal or even basic amenities like water and electricity.

• The uncomfortable living conditions in the slum and frustration of unemployment often lead people to take resort to antisocial activities for the sake of earning their bread. This, along with lack of proper law and order in the sum areas, results in a much higher crime rate in the urban areas.

• Not only does urbanization adversely affect humans, it is also damaging the environment in multiple ways. For starters, cities are continuously expanding their area to accommodate more people, which results in the natural flora and fauna being under constant threat. With each passing minute, more and more forested areas are being cleared to make houses and factories, with many trees and animals running the risk of becoming extinct. Apart from this, urbanization is creating significant environmental stress by disrupting the natural water table, increasing the rates of air pollution and contributing to the overall global warming.

Positive effects of Urbanization:

• Despite the above disadvantages of urbanization, we must also remain thankful for its benefits. To start with, it is an undeniable fact that urban areas offer much more scope for an efficient living. Many rural areas lack amenities as basic as clean water and electricity, which are available in the cities with less effort.

• Urbanization also contributes in the betterment of the rural areas. People who move to the cities and get employed are better equipped with knowledge about the rural areas and tend to go back to those areas and work for their development. They also often migrate to the city with their goods and materials that prove to be beneficial in foreign trade.

• Apart from the basic amenities, people migrating to the city also gain access to better health and social services, transport and most importantly, better education. Urbanization helps in somewhat decreasing the illiteracy rate, making sure that more and more children get the basic education they need. Even for higher education, there is more variety in the courses available in the urban areas.

• Urbanization is also a blessing in the aspect of social integration. It enables people from different origins, cast and religion to live and work together, slowly breaking down the barriers of discrimination, culture and language.

Considering the current rate of population growth, it is safe to say that urbanization is not going anywhere. However, with the increasing awareness about environmental issues, more care is being taken to ensure that urbanization takes place while protecting the environmental and human resources. In this way, we can reap the benefits of urbanization without having to face the downsides of it.

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