Advantages and Disadvantages of Urbanization

The term urbanization is discussed more than ever because of the recent impacts on the people and the environment. Urbanization is when there is an increase in population in cities and towns versus rural areas. It is either the level of urban development relative to the population or it can represent the rate at which the population grows. Cities today are growing at a fast rate and slowly replacing rural areas with urban areas. It was expressed that the United Nations stated that 50 percent of world’s population lives in urban areas (Haub, 2009, p. 1). This will continue to increase because economies will continue to grow and the chance of earning a higher income is increased within the cities. Employment opportunities, modernization, and commercialization are examples of why urban areas have been increasing over the years. As urban areas become more technologically based, people believe they can live a happy life in cities.

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There are also negatives that come with the benefits of urbanization. The negatives of urbanization are the housing problems and overcrowding. The population increase in cities can create a scarcity of houses and lead to overcrowding of people within a small area. The decreased living conditions could lead to potential health problems in the future. Overall, the benefits of urbanization outweigh the drawbacks because of the employment opportunities and the improving economic status within the cities.

The main cause of urbanization is the employment opportunities that come with urban areas. There is a variety of job opportunities that draw people in from rural areas. It gives the people a chance to have employment in several job categories that improve economic development. “The majority of people frequently migrate into urban areas to access well paying jobs as urban areas have countless employment opportunities in all developmental sectors such as public health, education, transport, industries, and business enterprises” (Rinkesh, 2016, p. 7). Companies and industries generate and increase jobs by creating tourism promotion and increasing advertisements to draw people into cities for the job opportunities. More people everyday here about the employment opportunities in urban areas because of the technological advances that makes it easier to promote businesses through social media and online advertisements.

The second benefit to urbanization is the increased modernization in technology and infrastructure. “As urban areas become more technology savvy together with highly sophisticated communication, infrastructure, medical facilities, and other social amenities availability, people believe they can lead a happy life in cities” (Rinkesh, 2016, p. 8).

Modernizing cities start with the construction engineers. They control the construction of buildings and roads in the cities. It was stated that “The stability and livability of the world’s growing urban regions is going to depend more than ever on advances in public-infrastructure engineering” (Arizona State, 2009) (p.1).

It starts with the construction engineers to maintain urbanization with the designing of strong and environmentally safe buildings and roads. The world’s fastest growing urban regions will demand a much more modern infrastructure setting in the future. The future is the construction of “smart buildings” that will reduce energy consumption. Buildings that transfers air to regulate temperature, reuses water and potentially generate their own power. The design of modern houses will be a vital solution to population growth in cities. “Solar One’s new headquarters in New York will be a net zero energy consumer and will feature green tech like PV panels, and a garden wall for shade” (Goodier, 2013, p 3). Another issue in big cities is the traffic congestion. Modern transportation systems will monitor themselves to prevent traffic accidents and will show drivers how to avoid congestion in cities. As cities grow, governments will work on large projects, from public transit systems to highways. This increased infrastructure will make the cities more mobile, so that businesses can place themselves by the newly established transportation areas to gain access to a potential increased customer base, as more people can travel to their business.

The last advantage of urbanization is commercialization. Commercialization is the process of distributing goods or services to the general population or to other businesses. It is the production, distribution, or sales to achieve success of the good or service. “Commercialization and trade comes with the general perception that the towns and cities offer better commercial opportunities and returns compared to the rural areas” (Rinkesh, 2016, p. 5). Commerce overall increases the productivity of a city. It satisfies the human wants and increases the standard of living. Today, people can buy anything in cities and can satisfy their needs and wants. Commercialization helps us receive goods and services at the right price and place and overall improves the standard of living. Commerce connects producers and consumers through wholesale or retail. The producer can be informed about a producers wants and needs through marketing research. Commercialization helps link everyone together through the production of goods and services.

Though there are many benefits of urbanization, there are also many disadvantages which will need to be covered to finalize the argument of urbanization. Despite the positive impacts, the development of slums, overcrowding, and water and sanitation problems are increased in populated areas. The cost of living in urban areas can be expensive in certain areas. “When this is combined with random and unexpected growth as well as unemployment, there is the spread of unlawful resident settlements represented by slums and squatters” (Rinkesh, 2016, p. 15). This can happen because of the people that want to search for better life and are unable to pay for the elevated prices of living. The second problem of urbanization is the potential overcrowding of people. People rapidly moving into cities can create a congestion of people within a small area. This congestion can lead to increased issues between the people or the infrastructure. The final problem is the water and sanitation problems.

Cities can be faced with serious resource problems because of the rapid population increase. “In 2050, we forecast that 993 million people will live in cities with perennial water shortage within their urban extent” (Mcdonald, 2010, p. 7). The water problems within the cities can also threaten the wildlife. The demand of water in urban areas can potentially threaten many more freshwater species.

Nevertheless, these disadvantages could easily be fixed with experienced personal, and a willing to change habits. It starts with everyone that lives in the cities to work together to stop the development of slums, water, and sanitation problems before they happen. There are two solutions a city can look at when there is a water shortage. First, cities can increase the mining of groundwater. This will put off a water shortage by a few years or decades. Second, water shortages can be decreased by improving landscape management. Changes in land use or management can free up water for urban cities. Cities can pay farmers for the water that they usually put on their field to free up water for the urban areas.

The development of slums can be handled by the civil engineers. It starts with the civil engineers to maintain urbanization with the designing of strong and environmentally safe buildings and roads. Engineers will work with communication and public utility systems to develop technological advances necessary to connect these systems and together to run a productive city properly. Overpopulation can be controlled by the city management. It is important that there is control over the population to limit the risk of overpopulation.

The term urbanization is discussed more than ever because of the recent impacts on the people and the environment. Urbanization is when there is an increase in population in cities and towns versus rural areas. Urbanization will continue as long as we are on this planet. Nothing will stop the number of cities developing in the future. The increasing is fueled by the Industrialization, employment opportunities, and modernization within the cities. The advantages can heavily outweigh the problems if everyone starts to take care of this planet. The problems can be settled before they happen if people don’t abuse what they have and take care of everything in a positive manner. Overall, the benefits of urbanization outweigh the drawbacks because of the employment opportunities and the improving economic status within the cities.  

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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Urbanization. (2021, Mar 18). Retrieved December 9, 2022 , from
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