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The Costs and Benefits of Urbanisation

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´╗┐Urbanization is defined as the population?s increasing in urban areas (Learn on the Internet, 2008, P8). As a reflection of population?s migration from rural areas to urban areas, urbanization usually appears when a country is still developing. The majority of urbanization occurred in developed countries prior to 1950, but the most rapid growth in urbanization has occurred in developing countries since 1950 (Learn on the Internet, 2008, P8). Nearly one third of the world?s population lived in urban areas as recently as 1975, but the proportion will rise to almost two thirds by 2025 (World Resources Institute, 1997, P19). Urbanization has caused a range of problems in recent years and numerous governments want to slow down urban growth in order to minimize social upheaval. Notwithstanding the costs, urbanization also has many benefits. This essay will enumerate some of the benefits and the costs of urbanization. In the first place, it will enumerate and weigh up the economic benefits and the costs. In the second place, it will discuss the environmental benefits and costs. ...read more.


In the second place, urbanization is conducive to establishing higher living standards. People always have better education, convenient transportation and more thorough health care in urban areas. Moreover, since children are not required for subsistence labour, families in urban areas tend to have fewer children. Couples that have fewer children will pay less on children?s education, foods, cloths and other costs which mean a decrease in daily costs and an increase in amount of funds available for distribution (Environment Literacy Council, 2008, P21). Admittedly, one of the economic costs of urbanization is poverty. First off, high unemployment in inner city areas usually leads to social problems such as antisocial behavior, human rights infringement and destitution which are linked with poverty intensely (Learn on the Internet, 2008, P9). In addition, there is often a lack of basic amenities such as daily health care, waste management and clean water that would result in the diminution of living standards (Environment Literacy Council, 2008, P21). What is more, many people who live in cities are in very poor conditions. ...read more.


In the second place, urban areas consume most of the world?s energy and resources which produces large amounts of pollution (The Economist, 2008, P13). Furthermore, many cities are confronted with air pollution and water supply shortages because of the pollution of the air, rivers, underground water, and the ocean (World Resources Institute, 1997, P19). In conclusion, despite the fact that urbanization has caused many problems and has a lot of adverse effects, it still has more benefits than costs. Urbanization is strongly linked and beneficial to both economic growth and higher standards of living. Urbanization also has environmental benefits, for instance, it is environment-friendly in some respects. However, urbanization also brings about poverty, especially in developing countries. The environmental costs are also serious. Overall, it seems that the benefits of urbanization are greater than the costs, and it is ?costly and futile? (The Economist, 2008, P13) to stop the progress of urbanization. In the future, perhaps governments should take measures to minimize social upheaval, and devote resources to the protection of the environment while developing the economy in order to minimize the negatives. ...read more.

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