What is Urbanization?

Towns and cities are created for people. Unlike in rural areas, there is everything human need for easy, modern life. For example, there are work options, living space, transportation, etc. That is why more and more people are moving into cities and the world is rapidly urbanizing. It is a process most of the people face directly or indirectly, so lets take a closer look to this phenomenon and find out what urbanization actually means?

By definition, urbanization is process of people moving from rural areas to cities and also the increasing footprint of urban areas. Urbanization impacts many fields and sciences such as geography, economics, sociology and public health. Urbanization is slowly changing the world and it is predicted that by the time of 2050 about 86% of the developed world will be urbanized.

Since the very beginning urbanization correlates positively with industrialization. As there were first manufactures and job opportunities in specific areas created, people saw it as an option to get a job and have easier, more sable life. Cities provided not only job opportunities, but better, easier life in general and as more and more people moved to the cities, also the living standards continue to grow. That, however, led to even more pronounced urbanization. Also cities itself were getting bigger, because they merged with smaller villages and areas around them. Nowadays half of the worlds population is urbanized, but still the numbers continue to grow.

These processes have both positive and negative impacts on many fields. The good impacts mostly reflects to economics, sociology and overall living standards. For example, urbanization can ensure easier life for urban population. There are education, job, social and other opportunities concentrated in one area, so people can have everything they need for a good life. Also growth of manufacturing and service industries ensures the economic growth. Everything seems great about urbanization so far, but actually there are many negative issues related to this process as well.

First of all, it causes gentrification. As city population grow, it increase the demand for goods and services. That causes the increasing prices of these goods and services and land. As the prices rise, the working class may be priced out of the real estate market and are being pushed into worse neighborhoods. Also urbanization can cause the lack of resources, because the production of raw materials is depending on rural areas. If there are no rural areas, also there is no agriculture. And the last most common negative impact is connected with environmental changes. Urbanization causes wide range of environmental problems starting from overall pollution and ending with loss of vegetation. Creation of cities means destroying rural arenas and the environment.

This process is evaluated ambiguously. On one hand it means making people lives better and caring about the needs of population, but on the other hand it destroys the nature and crates inequality. Regardless of the views of urbanization, it is unstoppable process, because it is a part of overall development of the world.