Urbanization is the process of human migration from rural areas to towns and cities, thus rapid urbanization means that the rate at which the migration from rural to urban takes place is hurried that a country has no time to plan for their existence at the cities. The situation differs from country to country as the number of cities and rural areas in the countries are different. Urbanization in developed areas can be traced from the
industrialization era when the populace migrated from the rural/ancestral home to towns in search of employment. According to a report compiled by the University of Michigan, the percentage of the human global population living in cities in 1950 was less than 30% and by the year 2000, the figure stood at 47%.
The study predicted that by 2025, the figure would be at 60%. Rapid migration is as a result of factors which induce the migrations from rural to urban; these factors have been categories into two broad groups- push and pull factors. Push factors are those factors that are influenced by the conditions of the rural areas thus making people move away into cities. Pull factors on the other hand are the incentives that attract people to the cities.
Urbanization is the process of human migration from rural areas to towns and cities, thus rapid urbanization means that the rate at which the migration from rural to urban takes place is hurried that a country has no time to plan for their existence at the cities. The situation differs from country to country as the number of cities and rural areas in the countries are different. Another possible reason for the difference is the development nature of the countries; some countries are developed, others are developing while others are considered least developed. Urbanization in developed areas can be traced from the industrialization era when the populace migrated from the rural/ancestral home to towns in search of employment.
According to a report compiled by the University of Michigan, the percentage of the human global population living in cities in
1950 was less than 30% and by the year 2000, the figure stood at 47%. The study predicted that by 2025, the figure would be at 60%. Rapid migration is as a result of factors which induce the migrations from rural to urban; these factors have been categories into two broad groups- push and pull factors. Push factors are those factors that are influenced by the conditions of the rural areas thus making people move away into cities. Pull factors on the other hand are the incentives that attract people to the cities. Examples of push factors may be political instability of the rural area, insecurity, low standard of education, unemployment, and scarcity of resources. Pull factors are the promise of what is missing at the rural areas: employment, better education, better lifestyle, variety of resources, better health facilities, and a some what political stable condition among other personal reasons.
Different policies of a country also propels the rural to urban migration; Mexico for instance maneuvered the migration by maintaining the food price in urban areas at a low cost thus farmers in the rural areas felt misused as they would not reap any profit by selling food to urban areas. They abandoned farming and moved to the urban areas making the Mexico City to be among the top largest cities with rapid urbanization. Urbanization and especially the Rapid ones come with implications; both positive and negative. Other countries especially developing and less developed are not well prepared for the growth in population at the cities thus causing a strain on the available resources. Global negative implications are increase in traffic, environmental pollution, overcrowding among public institutions and facilities and increase in the cost of life at the cities. (University of Michigan, 2006)
A common problem among African cities is the poor hygienic conditions that have been brought by the rapid urbanization. From Nairobi in Kenya to Lagos in Nigeria and Windhoek in Namibia, rapid urbanization has led to the debilitating environment; vast slum dwellings, inadequate water supplies, poor garbage disposal, poor drainage systems and poor medical services. This in turn has bred what is known as vectors and reservoirs of communicable diseases such as malaria, lymphatic diseases, HIV/AIDS, typhus and yellow fever. As urbanization rate grows, so is the population growth within the cities from new births and this places a strain in housing, employment opportunities and increases competition thus the unlucky group cannot afford the ‘better’ accommodation leading to shanty towns.
There is no development plan for shanty towns, neither is there a proper place for waste disposal (flying toilet is popular), no drainage system, electricity and drinking water supplies. The only services these people get from their government is health and education which are of low quality. These conditions are conducive for the growth of diseases such as malaria and cholera (WHO estimates that about 3000 children die of malaria daily and about 3-5 million lives are lost through cholera annually). (Knudsen & Slooff 1992) Nigeria, Africa has experienced an increase
in the mortality rate of young children with the rapid urbanization. This is so because a large number of the disadvantaged society in urban areas is socioeconomic disadvantaged thus increasing the risks to children.
According to a published report, the increased mortality rate investigation revealed rapid urbanization as the cause. More than 40 % of Nigerian population resided in the urban areas. (Barret 2010 ) Rapid urbanization has caused deteriorated the environmental state of Shenzhen
town in China; the previously constructed drainage system has been hampered and the rivers compromised thus interfering with the ecological system in China. The environment has also been degraded by the various anthropological activities carried out in the area; river banks of Guanlan River have been encroached, wetlands have also disappeared in the consequence of rapid urbanization. (Zhou et al 2010) China at large is facing further challenges with the rapid urbanization which has caused increased the concern for land as the land for cultivation has been minimized as it has been converted for industrialization purposes. Rapid urbanization has caused soil pollution as a result of waste disposal from the industries which introduce acids into the soils.
China has been listed as the most populated country in the world and thus has her resources strained and environmental degradation. The introduction of acid into the soil from waste disposal has affected the food production, livestock feeding, fibre and biotic fuel, habitat lose and affected the whole ecosystem at large which has posed some other physical environmental change such as global warming effects. (Chen 2007)
In Asia, Bangladesh is considered a highly populated city which has been a case of rapid urbanization which has been accredited to the search for employment, away from the agricultural sectors in rural areas. The Food and Agriculture Organization reported that a large population of habitants in Bangladesh lived on what is considered a fragile land along the coastal areas. Urban poverty, slum dwellings, deteriorated diet, life expectancy, nutrition and literacy are characteristics that define the state of rapid urbanization in Bangladesh. Dhaka city in Bangladesh had a slum population of 2,840,000 in 2005 which has been attributed to low and underemployment and low household income. (Haider, 2008)
In Istanbul Turkey, it has been estimated that about US $ 40 billion is needed annually to deal with the rapid urbanization implications. According to a statistical report, one out of five people lived in cities in the mid 1960s compared to the current one to three. Istanbul has been caught unplanned and just like other countries with rapid urbanization; it is experiencing the same problems of slum dwellings and inadequate water supplies. Turkey is not complaining about the rapid urbanization, they believe that with capital, they can channel the population into “engines of national economic growth” as the scenario in Bangkok, Thailand. Turkey believes that if they can develop their infrastructures like transport and water, then the population influx in cities can expedite the much needed economic growth for the country. According to the 2005 Mayor of Istanbul, Mr. Tinga, development will only be achieved by incorporating the participation of city people. (Dobias 2005)
Manila in the Philippines has been described as a rot; rapid urbanization has disadvantaged the city which has been under onslaught of political instabilities. Manila is considered as a metro city covering a 636 square kilometers with twelve cities and five municipalities. Poverty is a major issue and has been estimated that an approximate of 60% of the urban population is living on less than $ 350 per month. Insecurity has been
blamed for the political violence the resident endure as most areas go unmanned by security forces thus proliferating crime wave and rate. Perpetrators get the freedom and breeding place as they plan and execute their criminal activities including terrorism and drug trafficking when they know the place is not being governed or manned by any security personnel thus the habitants continue to suffer. Insurgents have thrived under
these lawless conditions making Manila rank among the most violent cities in the world, case in point is the three bombings on February 14, 2005 that targeted foreign work force and business entities aligned to President Arroyo. The inadequate policing in the urban areas have been blamed on insufficient resources and currently volunteers have been called upon to assist the administrative bodies to help maintain law and order. (Derdzinski 2006)
As outlined in the essay, some of the rapid urbanization implications such as slum dwelling and environmental degradation are similar globally. Experts have cautioned that in developed countries such as china, to deal with the implications, the barrier between urban and rural areas should be eradicated to spread the population so as to shift the burden. (Worldwatch 2011) developed countries have been called to create and take on
plans that correlate between the physical location of the objects and the objects. These include planning, engineering and health services, construction survey plans and natural resource management. (Potsiou 2010). In the case of developing counties, public health education has been called for to enlighten the population so as to eradicate the conditions for breeding and spread of communicable diseases.