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The Problems associated with increasing Urbanisation in MEDCs.

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Grace Lau 16th November 03 The Problems associated with increasing Urbanisation in MEDCs Urbanisation is the process of growth and development in a built-up area compared to numbers in rural areas. It can be applied to the expansion both in the number and size of towns and cities. Urbanisation occurs most rapidly in Third World countries, where the world's largest cities are. For instance, Mexico City, as the world's largest city, has a population of more than 26 million. There are many advantages of urbanisation; however, it is considered that the disadvantages outbalance these. The illusion of plentiful and better job opportunities and a better quality of life is often shattered when people from rural areas move to urban cities and towns. Since the 1980s, urbanisation has been a continuous difficulty, including congestion, pollution, overcrowding and other social and environmental issues. Now, just over half the world is living in urban areas. Below is a graph comparing urban population growth between 1960 and 2000 in developing countries, developed countries and the world. Urban sprawl is defined as the uncontrolled expansion of built-up areas into the countryside. An example of this is Ohio, USA, where flawless private homes are located within half a mile of farms. ...read more.


Constant improvements in transportation, housing and manufacturing of raw materials increased the wealth of the cities, allowing further investment and attracting more people, such as in Birmingham. Overpopulation in an area leads to many other problems in itself. For example, congestion, two thirds or more of the population in MEDCs own cars. New and improved technology has led to increased pollution and traffic. There are currently over 27 000 000 vehicles in Britain and only one third of British households do not own a car. Pollution is also a significant problem in urban towns in particular. Air pollution is not caused by traffic alone, the relocation of industries also contributes largely to the constant decline of the environment. Los Angeles suffers the worst air pollution than any other MEDC. Only 4% of LA's population use public transport and many people have more than one vehicle per person. Pollutants from cars and factories become trapped in the LA basin and endanger public health. The Sydney basin is also a classic 'closed' basin, surrounded by high ground to the south, west and north and by the temperature differential between land and ocean on the eastern side. It's constant pollution from the airport. The city's highest lung cancer occurrences are found in the eastern part of the basin and in the western Sydney basin pollution sink area. ...read more.


The improvement and repair of existing toilets, showers and other devices can save up to 80% of the water currently used. In the USA, new houses are likely to feature cactus gardens instead of traditional grass gardens to reduce the amount of water being used to keep plants and flowers alive. Today, in Tuscon, domestic waste water is recycled to power other machinery. Energy efficient products are also being introduced in the UK in order to protect the environment. The recycling of materials like paper is also reducing waste disposal; plastic and glass can also be re-used to help the disposal of waste. The majority of MEDCs have increased the recycling of various products in the past 20 years but in the long term, less waste produced would benefit the environment more than simply recycling materials. Generally, urbanisation has its advantages and disadvantages that affect the people moving towards the area, the existing occupants and the people living near the town or city. However, currently, counterurbanisation is on the rise, with more and more people moving away from urban areas into the rural countryside, counterbalancing the issues caused by urbanisation. Still, urbanisation is taking place in LEDCs, causing more of the same but also different problems that are happening in MEDCs and the effects of urbanisation in LEDCs are just as detrimental as those in places like the UK. ...read more.

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