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Urbanization. This essay has looked at three principal consequences of the recent rapid urbanisation in the third world

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Urbanization For a variety of reasons, the Twentieth Century saw an acceleration of the trend towards urbanization which had begun, in Europe, in the eighteenth century. This trend can be seen as having two principal components. 'Pull' factors, encouraging the movement from countryside to city, have included industrialization and political centralization, while 'push' factors are often linked to political instability or environmental degradation. This urbanization phenomenon has become truly global, and is now most typical not of industrialized but of developing countries; Djakarta, Cairo and Mexico City each have populations approaching 20 million (FAO, 1993). This essay will examine three of the most serious consequences of urbanization in the developing world: rural depopulation, urban overcrowding, and an excess of labour supply in the cities. ...read more.


A second consequence of rapid urbanisation has been overcrowding. Those moving from the land to the city are generally the poorest members of society. They also tend to bring with them rural traditions which are typified by large family groups, and family nuclei of ten or more sharing a room are not uncommon. If access to clean drinking water and safe sanitation is lacking (as is often the case), diseases of the digestive tract are common (FAO, 1993). Furthermore, damp conditions may exacerbate respiratory illnesses, and close human proximity encourages the transmission of infectious disease. High infant mortality is therefore a very common direct consequence of overcrowding. Indirectly, too, overcrowding may have negative effects. ...read more.


This can in turn lead to the spread of disease, as indicated above. As Tshombe (1999) points out, in extreme cases, crime may be seen as the only solution to unemployment, and may even result in urban unrest. This essay has looked at three principal consequences of the recent rapid urbanisation in the third world, but it should not be imagined that each can be separated from the other so neatly. Clearly, the problems of rural depopulation and overcrowding are very closely related, as in turn are the problems of overcrowding and, for example, poverty. Unsurprisingly, such a complex and deep-rooted issue has, so far, resisted most attempted solutions. The responsibilities for finding effective responses lie both with the governments of the countries undergoing the process of development, and (in an increasingly globalised economy) with the already industrialised world. ...read more.

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