In 2020, the UN published the results of its research into changes in urbanization, the number of people living in cities, between 1950 and 2020:
- Africa: 14.3% of the continent’s population lived in cities in 1950. By 2020, this had increased to 43.5%
- Asia: 17.5% in 1950 increased to 51.1% in 2020
- Europe: 51.7% in 1950 to 74.9% in 2020
- Latin America and Caribbean: 41.3% in 1950 grew to 81.2% in 2020
- Northern America: 63.9% in 1950 became 83.6% in 2020
As you can see, the biggest growths in urbanization have been seen in Africa and Asia. The UN concluded that since 2010, the majority of the global population has lived in urban areas instead of rural.
Urbanisation is an increase in the number of people living in towns and cities. Rapid urbanisation often means that peri-urban areas immediately around a city grow more rapidly than urban centres and this can lead to development of slums.
Why is rapid urbanization a problem?
Some of the major health problems resulting from urbanization include poor nutrition, pollution-related health conditions and communicable diseases, poor sanitation and housing conditions, and related health conditions. Urban dwellers also suffer from overnutrition and obesity, a growing global public health problem.
What are the effects of rapid urbanization?
While moving to a city offers individuals more opportunities to improve their living conditions, the high cost of living and competition for livelihoods can also trap people in poverty. Rapid and unplanned urbanization can also quickly lead to urban violence and social unrest.
What are the main issues created by rapid Urbanisation?
There are many problems associated with the rapid growth. These include unplanned housing (squatter settlements/shanty towns), dealing with urban waste, pollution and stress on the infrastructure and the city’s services.
What are the positive and negative effects of urbanization?
Due to the increase in migration towards urban areas, cities experience various problems due to lack of resources, poverty, unemployment, overcrowding, and many more. These economic problems give rise to many social issues. These issues include vandalism, increase in crime rate, drug abuse, etc.
What will happen if urbanisation continues?
Environmental degradation from urbanisation can be significant. It can be major contributor to pollution and other problems related to, sanitation, general waste management and the provision of fresh drinking water. Native plants and animals can be endangered by loss of habitats.
How can we stop rapid urbanisation?
Involve local community in local government. Reduce air pollution by upgrading energy use and alternative transport systems. Create private-public partnerships to provide services such as waste disposal and housing. Plant trees and incorporate the care of city green spaces as a key element in urban planning.
What are the types of urbanisation?
Now, urbanization process can be divided into four stages: initial stage, acceleration stage, deceleration stage, and terminal stage. Also it can be divided into three stages: initial stage, celerity stage (including acceleration stage and deceleration stage), and terminal stage.
By 2050 more than two-thirds of the world’s population is projected to be living in urban areas. This rapid increase will take place mainly in developing countries. Africa and Asia— both still less urbanized than other regions— will have the fastest urban growth rates. Africa’s urban population is projected to jump from 40 percent today to 56 percent by 2050, and Asia’s from 48 percent to 64 percent.
In order to accommodate this rapid expansion in urban dwelling, experts estimate that US$57 trillion in global infrastructure investment is required by 2030 alone. More than 1 billion people live in housing that is below minimum standards of comfort and sanitation, and new houses will have to be built for 3 billion people by 2030.
Investing in essential infrastructure propels growth and human development. There has been some progress in narrowing the infrastructure deficit in recent decades, but much more needs to be done. Good planning and sound management is needed to manage this. National and local governments need to become more strategic in responding to the full range of challenges and opportunities posed by rapid urbanisation. This can be done by formulating a national urbanisation strategy as a first step to help to identify urban development priorities, shape plans and better coordinate actions by all the actors involved, including the private sector.
There is, however, no one-size-fits-all urban strategy. Urban policy priorities and choices depend on a variety of factors – including the scale, speed and source of urbanisation, the size of cities and the stage of urban development.
Intergovernmental relationships are also key to successful urbanisation. National, regional and city governments need to be connected and share a similar vision. Local governments will need technical and managerial skills, the ability to engage with the public and strong capacities to design, implement, monitor and evaluate local public policies and services.
As cities grow, governments will need to cater to rapidly growing demands for public services and infrastructure. In many places, they are not keeping up. For example, almost 700 million urban slum dwellers lack adequate sanitation, which, along with the paucity of safe drinking water, raises the risk of communicable diseases, particularly among children. And urbanization creates income and opportunity disparities, not only between rural and urban areas but also among socioeconomic groups in cities.
The world needs inclusive and sustainable urbanisation as a milestone in the path towards socio-economic development, as recognized by Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) – Goal #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. Future human development prospects largely hinge on how well these growing cities are managed.
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