What is urbanization:
- More and more people are moving from rural areas to cities leading to the growth of cities. This process is called urbanization.
- In general, urbanization is a sign of progress because it leads to economic and social progress. But it has several challenges.
Challenges of urbanization:
- Urbanization results in increased population density, which leads to pressure on resources such as land, water, medical professionals, police etc.
- Due to high demand, land prices, housing prices and rents will increase drastically. Not everyone can afford the prices. Those who can afford have to spend a large part of their income on housing. The people who cannot afford to rent in urban areas are forced to live in slums with substandard housing and poor sanitation facilities, which negatively affect the health of people living there.
- As more people keep coming to urban areas, there will be more supply of human resources than demand, hence the wages will decrease. Hence many people work so hard for a meagre income.
- More constructions take place in response to growing demand. This leads to the cutting of trees. Loss of vegetation coupled with concretization prevents rainwater seepage resulting in groundwater depletion and the increased risk of flooding.
- Higher population density leads to faster spread of viruses.
- Often urbanization results in the expansion of cities by adding neighbouring villages into the cities. This sometimes causes the conversion of farmlands into residential or commercial areas, which reduces food production.
- Urbanization leads to more people and vehicles on road and hence causes severe traffic jams.
- More vehicles on roads result in increased emission of greenhouse gases and hence more air pollution. This too negatively affects the health of inhabitants.
- More population causes a burden on government and hence it will be difficult to ensure quality life to all.
- Deprivation of basic facilities in slums results in an increased crime rate.
- Increasing employment opportunities in rural areas and small towns will decrease the pressure on urban areas.
- Better facilities such as super speciality hospitals, good educational institutions in rural areas and small towns will make people stay in the areas instead of migrating to cities for those facilities.
- More work from home options can make people stay in rural areas while working in the companies situated in urban areas.
- Promoting the construction of green buildings like Singapore can reduce air pollution and helps city inhabitants in maintaining good health.
- A better and efficient public transportation system can reduce the usage of private vehicles and can reduce traffic issues and air pollution levels.
Urbanization is a sign of progress because it leads to economic and social progress. Better infrastructure and transportation facilities can solve the problems of urbanization to some extent. But we cannot fix the issues if there is excessive urbanization. So the root cause of urbanisation should be taken care of. Balanced regional development will counter rural to urban migration and will ensure a better quality of life for everyone despite the area they live in.
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