Many people leave the countryside for the greater opportunities which are offered by cities. This move is not without disadvantages for both people and the environment. What are some benefits and drawbacks of urbanization?
Nowadays, the issue of urbanization is more frequently discussed than ever before due to its increasing impacts on lives and on the environment. The advantages of urbanization could be better economy and education and also less land to be used for agricultural purposes. In contrast, this phenomenon could result in poor living and working conditions and some negative effects on the air quality.
First, many people hope that if they move to live in a big city they could have higher-income jobs and better education. For example, Beijing is believed to be a dream land to many Chinese citizens. This is where many domestic and foreign companies are located so many young people from the rural areas of the country have moved to this city to look for occupation. These people wish to earn some money and send them to their struggling families. Other people, however, want their children to have the best education they can have. Often high-ranked schools or universities with well-trained teachers are in this city. Moreover, since the youth of the country sides have gone, there are not many people left to do the agricultural works so there will be less land to be exploited to produce agriculture products. This can be argued a good impact on the environment.
However, the critics of urbanization argue that as too many people move to major cities in recent years, there is greater competition for jobs. This means only people with greatest ability can remain staying in these cities. Often they have to work the jobs that they have to exert themselves so hard, such as the works in construction sites, and are often in dangers which can cause death to them. Big cities nowadays are facing the problems of overpopulation and the most obvious is the lack of space for people to live. Often, people from poor villages when they move to an urban area they have no choice but to live in the places which have no electricity and clean drink water. Some people even have to live under a bridge or in a park. Moreover, the expansion of city often leads to trees have to be cut off for buildings to rise. The reduced amount of trees can be easily linked to a rapid fall in the quality of air which can severely damage the health of many people.
In conclusion, after considering both sides of urbanization, more bad is felt to be resulted from this phenomenon than good. As such, the rapid increasing trend in the number of city life should be carefully managed by strict policies.
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.
- 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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