Now that you have completed this study session, you can assess how well you have achieved its Learning Outcomes by answering these questions.
Rewrite the paragraph below using terms from the list provided to fill the gaps.
increase, mega-cities, peri-urban, rural to urban migration, slums.
Urbanisation is an ……………… in the number of people living in towns and cities. The two causes of urbanisation are natural population increase and ……………… Urbanisation affects all sizes of settlements from small villages to towns to cities, leading up to the growth of ……………… which have more than ten million people. Rapid urbanisation often means that ……………… areas immediately around a city grow more rapidly than urban centres and this can lead to development of ………………
Urbanisation is an increase in the number of people living in towns and cities. The two causes of urbanisation are natural population increase and rural to urban migration. Urbanisation affects all sizes of settlements from small villages to towns to cities, leading up to the growth of mega-cities which have more than ten million people. 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.
Both push and pull factors drive the migration that leads to urbanisation. What is meant by the terms ‘push and pull factors’? In your answer you should state one push factor and one pull factor.
Pull factors in migration are factors that attract people to urban areas, e.g. good employment opportunities in cities.
Push factors in migration are factors that drive people from the countryside, e.g. lack of sufficiently productive land to make a good living.
Other pull factors that encourage migration to urban areas include better education opportunities, better health care, improved access to social services and opportunities for social and cultural activities. Other push factors that drive people away from rural areas are poor living conditions, lack of paid employment, poor health care, limited educational and economic opportunities and environmental changes.
Is urbanisation increasing faster in developed or developing countries?
Urbanisation is occurring faster in developing countries, with Africa and Asia showing the highest rates of urbanisation.
Do you think that urbanisation is a bad thing or a good thing? Justify your answer by giving two examples of the impacts of urbanisation.
You could answer either way – you could view urbanisation either as a good thing or as a bad thing.
You might justify answering that urbanisation is a good thing because, first, it brings together economic and human resources that stimulate the economy through the development of business, science, technology and industry and, second, it is more cost-effective and efficient to supply facilities such as fresh water and electricity to a concentrated population in a city. Other justifications you might have thought of include the fact that the concentration of people and resources leads to more readily available education, health, social services and cultural activities in cities; urban living is linked with higher levels of literacy and education, better health, lower fertility and a longer life expectancy; there are better communication and transport networks; and social and cultural barriers can be overcome.
You might justify your answer that urbanisation is a bad thing because, first, rapid and unplanned growth in urban areas is associated with inadequate housing, water and sanitation which leads to health problems and, second, it is associated with adverse environmental effects such as reduced water quality, a build-up of waste materials and poor air quality. Other possible reasons you might have thought of include the link between urbanisation and increasing urban poverty and inequality; rises in slum and squatter populations; adverse social effects such as higher levels of crime and violence; and a lack of social support.
As urbanisation has both positive and negative impacts, you might feel that you can’t say that it is totally good or bad, but that is has mixed impacts and is both good and bad.