What is meant by the term Urbanisation?
Alice Brady 13JMW
- What is meant by the term Urbanisation?
Urbanisation is the process in which the number of people living in cities increases compared with the number of people living in rural areas. A country is considered to be urbanised when over 50% of its population lives in urban places. In the UK the movement of people from rural to urban areas followed the industrial revolution as people were needed to work in the factories in the CBD. It took place throughout the 19th and Early 20th Centuries in Europe and North America. By 1950 most of the people in these two continents lived in urban area. However their urbanisation was relatively slow, allowing government’s time to plan and provide for the needs of increasing urban populations, in Less Economically Developed Countries urbanisation serves to be a much bigger problem and it is here where the world's largest cities are.
A range of economic, political, social, cultural, and environmental factors affect urbanisation. Government policies in many developing countries promote industrialisation and international capitalist economies. Urbanisation is encouraged socially and culturally through the media, and environmental factors such as the seasonality of agricultural work, may encourage urbanisation during the agricultural off-season. Urbanisation is caused by a number of factors; one example in an LEDC is that people move to the city to get jobs in the rapidly expanding industries. Rural to urban migration is happening on a massive scale due to population pressure and lack of resources in rural areas.
‘Push’ and ‘Pull’ factors either attract or deter members of the population from living in a particular place. For example if there is better healthcare or education in the city then you move to the city to be nearer it.
This is a preview of the whole essay
Urbanisation results in urban sprawl. Urban sprawl is the expansion of urban areas into surrounding non-urban areas. In "developing" countries it occurs largely as a result of growing cities. In "developed" countries car-dependence is a major factor. For example in London UK, people may prefer to live in the outskirts of the city where it is less congested and polluted and then commute to work using public transport or their own cars.
Rapid urbanisation occurred during the period of industrialisation that took place in Europe and North America in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many people moved from rural to urban areas to get jobs. Since 1950 the most rapid growth in urbanisation has occurred in LEDCs, such as South America, Africa and Asia. Between 1950 and 1990 the urban population living in LEDCs doubled. In developed countries the increase was less than half.
People living in rural areas are 'pulled' to the city. Often they believe that the standard of living in urban areas will be much better than that in rural areas., however they are usually wrong. People also hope for well paid jobs, and the greater opportunities to find casual or 'informal' work.
2.) Explain the changing distributions of the world’s largest counter – urbanisation cities in recent years.
Counter urbanisation is a process of decentralisation where people move away from urban areas to rural areas. Since 1950 this process has been occurring in MEDCs. The movement of people from rural to urban areas followed the industrial revolution when there was a great demand for people to work in the factories that developed in the CBD. However due to the ever increasing population in the centre, people are choosing to move away from the stress of city life in are moving to rural areas. ‘Recent years’ refers to the past 50 years.
‘Push’ and ‘Pull’ factors affect a persons decision over where to move and it is these influences that cause the processes of urbanisation and counter urbanisation to occur. Advances in culture and technology also manipulate the choice in where to migrate to.
The increase in car ownership over the last 40 years has meant that people are more mobile and can travel from further distances to work. This has led to an increase in commuting from E the rural areas into the cities. The growth in information technology such as -mail, faxes and video conferencing means that more people can work from home, so they don’t need to be near their work place that’s in the city.
Urban areas in MEDCs are becoming increasingly unpleasant places to live, as a result of pollution, crime, traffic congestion and huge increases in population e.g. London, UK. People are having to live in places of a lower standard of living compared to that of normal MEDC life. These are ‘push’ factors and are deterring people from living in the inner – city, and so push them further and further out of the city into rural areas, where the standard of living is much higher. This causes urban sprawl and counter urbanisation.
More people tend to move to rural areas when they retire and want to be in a calm and peaceful environment away from the busy and pressurising surroundings of the city. This increases the population density of the rural areas.
Due to urban sprawl, industries start moving out from the CBD and start to build trade on the outskirts where land is cheaper, there’s less/ no congestion and there is no limit for space. New business parks on the edge of cities (on Greenfield sites) mean people no longer have to travel to the city centre. People now prefer to live on the outskirts of the city to be near where they work. This requires more housing and services to be built on the edge of town, causing an increase in urban sprawl, as more people are attracted to the provisions and standard of living.
More freedom of women in MEDCs; especially in the West and Europe have given more people to the right of a better life so this may contribute to the ever increasing population in rural areas.
In LEDCs however it is the opposite and urbanisation has occurred and people are moving into the cities. They believe there is a higher standard of living, and there are better job opportunities. This form of migration is mainly the result of push and pull factors.
Men in search of work take their families into the inner city. Women are unable to choose whether they want to stay behind with the family as they are still tied to tradition of being under the control of their husbands.
Pull factors for people in LEDCs maybe the attraction of better education, better healthcare, entertainment and the possibility of affluence. However migrating to the city is sometimes not through choice and push factors such as civil war, drought, famine and poverty could be the cause of migration. Lack of opportunity, mechanisation, poor or no healthcare – with no contraceptives or immunisation against disease could also make people to want to move out of the rural area. Natural increase also contributes to the rise in urbanisation in LEDCs because of the decrease in death rates whilst the birth rate still remains high.
By 1850, there were 2 "million cities" (cities with a population exceeding one million) which were London and Paris. The growth of cities however experienced a population explosion in the 1950s.
According to the 1950 census the top 5 most populated cities in the world were:
- New York, USA – 12 million
- London, UK – 8.7 million
- Tokyo, Japan – 6.7 million
- Paris, France – 5.4 million
- Shanghai, China – 5.3 million
However over the next 45 years these top 5 figures all changes, with some figures increasing nearly 5 times over. By 1990, there were 286 "million cities." The census for 1995 showed these statistics of the top 5:
- Tokyo, Japan – 27.2 million
- Mexico City, Mexico – 16.9 million
- Sao Paulo, Brazil – 16.8 million
- New York, UA – 16.4 million
- Bombay, India – 15.7 million
This data introduces 3 new cities – Bombay, Mexico City and Sao Paulo, and the two MEDC cities – Paris and London are no longer in the top 5. These records show that Mexico City’s population must have tripled over in the 45 years.
However I believe the 2000 census to be most interesting:
- Mexico City, Mexico – 25.6 million
- Sao Paulo, Brazil – 22.1 million
- Tokyo, Japan – 19 million
- Shanghai, China – 17 million
- New York, USA – 16.8 million
This shows that Tokyo, a NIC (newly industrialising country) figures have dropped by 8.2 million. This maybe due to counter urbanisation, urban sprawl, or very low standard of living within the city. Shanghai’s population has risen by 12.3 million and Mexico City’s by 12.4 million since 1950 which calculates as to having 75 people migrating to the city every day over the past 45 years on average. There is only one MEDC – New York which remains in the top 5, and in over half a century the population of Mexico City has increased by 500% and probably more.
From the research it is clear that counter urbanisation and urbanisation is dramatically different in MEDCs and LEDCs due t a number of factors which consist mainly of push and pull factors. The LEDCs city populations are heavily increasing and the MEDCs city population are not yet decreasing but are levelling.