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A hundred years ago, only 20 percent of the world's population lived in urban

areas, but the 20th century saw a dramatic shift that marks a turning point in
history. Today, more people live in cities than in rural areas, and urbanization
continues to grow around the world. According to the World Bank, city living is
much more efficient in a variety of ways. It's easier to provide services when
people live closer together. However, cities also change the way that humans
interact with each other and the environment, often causing multiple problems.

Urbanization process refers to the concentration of population and its activities


(social, cultural and economic) in different cities.

The process of urbanization in the history of humanity is extremely recent, and has
as determinants the movement (emigration) of people from the countryside, to the
different cities in search of new opportunities to develop the economy, since in the
Urban areas tend to have more jobs and opportunities than in the middle of rural
areas where population density is very low.

Other factors that determine the process of urbanization or urban growth are
access to higher quality services such as: clean water (sanitation), better medical
care, higher levels of educational quality , and a lifestyle with access to larger
leisure centers and entertainment (cinemas, theaters, shoppings, sports, etc.).

Advantages and disadvantages urbanisation in the world


Lets first look at the advantages
The urbanization process has many advantages or benefits for the individuals ,
families and companies that are involved in it. Among them are:

o The convenience of goods and services is one of the benefits of urbanisation. In


urban areas there is better access to public health and general health care which
is lacking in many urban areas .
o The process of urbanization contributes to an increase in labor productivity, allows
solving many social problems of society.
o People who live in urban area tend to earn due to the availability of more jobs.
o Better possibilities to boost the economy: being closer to businesses and
industries, people who come from the countryside can explore more possibilities to
increase their current income, either by being in contact with closest customers, or
by obtaining jobs in new Business.

o Better sanitary services : potable water, sanitation, transport


of waste , recycling of garbage, etc.
o Another benefit of urbanization is that the tight grouping of people allows social
and cultural integration at a level not available to the extended populations in rural
areas.
o As the economy increases, the whole society benefits from internal improvements,
either through a richer tax base or through competition between private
organizations.
o Urbanization offers real economic opportunities to people who would otherwise be
destined to subsist without hope of economic improvement.
o Another advantage of urbanisation is that it improve technology at a faster rate .
The reason being because of the increase of the population , investment by
international companies there is a need to speed up communication , marketing and
dissemination of goods and services.
o Reduction of the cost of transporting goods for companies, lowering the
transportation of their products is a key factor, something that was already one of
the main reasons for the spatial concentration of companies during industrialization
and that is accompanied by urbanization. Companies also would have a shorter
distance to transport their products since everyone is in the urban area .Most urban
area have good infrastructure unlike rural area which is another factor that reduces
transportation cost.
o Lower cost of losing a job the concentration of workers is another pro, because if a
person loses the job, it will be easier to find another if there is a greater number of
companies in the city.
o Creation and dissemination of knowledge cities have an important role as creators
of knowledge. In addition, they play a key role in its dissemination, since, despite
living in an increasingly interconnected world, the geographical proximity of
individuals in a city facilitates the propagation of ideas.
Lets not look at the disadvantages
o An impact on the environment and quality of life, pollution in cities is greater due
to traffic, congestion of vehicles and poor collection of waste; cities often exceed
the natural capacity to absorb waste, which harms health; cities demand land, water
and natural resources that are disproportionately high than the surface they occupy
due to high incomes and consumption and the large size of the population.
o Price of the home: the price of homes is one of the main elements that are affected
by the agglomeration in cities. Thus, living in a big city is always more expensive
than in small urban centers.
o Cost of mobility , this is greater in large cities, a factor that in fact decisively
influences the first point (the price of housing), since the price you are willing to
pay for a house depends largely on the displacement cost.
o Crime index, there is documentation that confirms the existence of a positive
relationship between crime and the size of the city.
o Pollution’ according to a WHO study, more than 80% of people living in urban
areas are exposed to levels of pollution that exceed those recommended by the
same organization.
o Poverty ,since urbanization is linked to the increase in urban poverty; the great
inequality in cities; the poor live in informal settlements crammed and in poor
conditions because the housing costs .
o Floods , urban centers have extensive areas covered by concrete and asphalt,
making it difficult to infiltrate rainwater into the soil. The rains in large proportions
cause a very large accumulation of water and the rain gutters can not absorb all the
flood and these invade residences, public buildings, tunnels and compromise the
traffic.
o A strain on infrastructure , once there is overpopulation there will be an increase in
movement which can quickly destroy roads and bridges .
o Hot and humid environment , because everyone is crammed in one central area
there is a reduction in the flow of air which results in a humid weather .
o Less arable land, as populations swell the need for land to build house and
industries increases thus reducing land for agriculture . The land that is left for
agriculture uses a lot of fertilisers to increase food production thus devaluing the
quality of agriculture land.
o Human trafficking and prostitution ,prostitution has been always an integral part of
urbanization .The more a society open up to the world and new cultures become
integrated the more complex are the crimes which are prostitution and human
trafficking . Many person are also trafficked to city with the promise of good
paying jobs or other opportunities only to be pushed into prostitution or slavery.