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The environmental, social and economic consequences of urbanisation in Bombay.

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Introduction

'Discuss the environmental, social and economic consequences of urbanisation in a named city'. Bombay is the largest city in India (but not the capital), and has a growing population of 14,350,000 people. Bombay also serves as the financial hub of India, along with a major shipping industry, heavy industrial centres and is home to the 'Bollywood' film industry, the largest in the developing world. Due to the services available in Bombay, coupled with the hope of jobs, it is a major hub for migration of people from the countryside, a process known as urbanisation. People are drawn from a large part of western India, as well as other parts of the country looking to fill the jobs that the booming economy needs. The disparity between the 'rich and the poor', the 'good jobs and the menial' is vast. Bombay has many millionaires from the expanding banking sector, located in the Bandra Kurla zone, contrasted with street sellers and beggars in the shanty town areas like Dharavi, made famous through the multi Oscar winning film - Slumdog Millionaire. The problems that face the city authorities of Bombay are immense. ...read more.

Middle

This just adds to the overcrowding of the slums, as people are forced to live there as they are unable to afford anything in the city where property costs in the region of US$3180 per sq. ft. this, coupled with the short supply of housing, results in an accelerated growth of shanty towns, another case example being the farvelas on the outskirts of many (expansive) Brazilian cities such as S�o Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It is an inescapable upwards escalation into greater levels of poverty, as new migrants to the city locate themselves on the edges of the slums, furthest away from the centre of the city, where the jobs are located and are often built on dangerous land (old mines, near railways, on river marshland etc.) and very few have land rights, so there are just squatters with no legal protection. This is a major environmental issue and also poses significant problems to the inhabitants' health, in a country where the death rate is already 7.9/1000 (as of July 2009) and where the average life expectancy is just 60. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is also widely feared that such a development would not yield economic benefits for the developers, and so, much needed residential accommodation for the [ex] residents of Dharavi, will be used for commercial and office space to serve the ever expanding business sector - defeating the whole initial development objective. In conclusion, from the evidence laid out, it is clear that Bombay is suffering heavily as a result of mass urbanisation, and has done throughout its history, spanning back to even before the colonial days of the Raj. Projects such as the expansion of the Bandra Kurla complex threaten the condition of the poorer people, often illegally squatting on land, and are planned to solely benefit the banking and business/commerce sector. Migration from the countryside rural areas adding the issue of urbanisation are increasing the population at a large rate. Alongside this, poor planning and mismanagement from the authorities, failing to address the genuine needs of the city, all result in a city with gigantic disparity, overcrowding in slums and an 'all encasing' state of impoverishment for the vast majority of the population of the city. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jesse S Gordon 13N ...read more.

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