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Urbanization and Developing Countries


In the past, the majority of individuals not only in developing nations but also in developed countries lived mostly in rural areas. However, with the advent of urbanization in addition to the ever-changing living patterns, most of the world populations have moved to areas they consider more urbanized. Although such movements have some advantages, in most cases, the negatives impacts or problems resulting from the same outweigh gains.

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Such problems are more prevalent in developing countries because in most cases there is a lack of proper organization and control of such movements. Economic conditions of these countries have made the condition worse because the available infrastructure and resources cannot support such big numbers hence, the need for such governments to re-formulate mitigating measures to deal with such problems (Visaria & Jones, 2001, pp. 4-17).

Problems of Urbanization

In most cases, the majority of individuals view the problem of urbanization from the population growth perspective. However, it is important to note that, urbanization takes a wide scope because of its effects on the economic, social, political systems’ organization of a nation, more especially on urban centers. Also, the rapid increase in urban populations is the main factor behind the increased environmental degradation; a practice that is more prevalent in most developing nations’ towns.

For example, because of the poor settling patterns in most crowded areas, in most cases, such areas lack proper sewerage and drainage systems (Satterthwaite, Mitlin &Hardoy, 1992, pp.63-71). This translates to poor waste disposal methods, leading to many health complications, which in most cases cost the majority of these nations substantial amounts of money in alleviating them.

Health complications that can result due to poor wastage disposal systems include deadly diseases, for example, cholera, typhoid, and diarrhea. Such ailments not only cost these countries a lot of funds in dealing with them but also they weaken a country’s workforce hence, acting as a backward pooling force on economic and social development (Calvert & Calvert pp. 43-73).

Problems of Urbanization
(University of Michigan, 2002, p.1)

Another problem of untamed population growth as a result of urbanization is the nature of strain such rapid growth cause on few available resources. Majority of individuals opt to settle in urban centers because of the prospects of good living lifestyles, for example, prospects of getting good jobs and other life-sustaining opportunities. In most cases, this is never the case in that, due to such influxes, in most cases, such resources are not sufficient to support livelihoods of all urban inhabitants; more so the poor and jobless.

In this like a scenario, many other problems are bound to arise ranging from urban planning to settlement problems, hence the increased communication problems in many urban towns (University of Michigan, 2002, para.15-17).

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Urbanization in many ways also contributes to the escalated security problems in many developing countries. This is because, lack of a mechanism of earning livelihoods translates to the formation of many youth gang groups, which are major perpetrators of most crimes both in cities and other small town centers within most urban suburbs.

Lack of security is a major threat to the well-being of any society in that; governments are spending millions to beef up their security measures, a factor undermined by urbanization to some extent. This is the case primarily because; it is very hard to beef up security in an overcrowded city, where settlement patterns are so poor and disorganized.

Problems of Urbanization
(University of Michigan, 2002, p.1)

On the other hand, poverty is a major impediment on development efforts in many developing countries. In common life scenarios, the majority of individuals attribute this problem to poor economic systems. However, it is important to note that, in many ways, urbanization has also contributed to the occurrence of the problem. Firstly, due to urbanization, individuals have neglected other sectors that are essential for economic development, for example, agriculture; because of the hope of better lives in towns.

Because of most countries’ economies are primarily dependent on agriculture, negligence of this sector of the economy may make a country to undergo economic turbulent times; hence; a poor citizenry. Secondly as concerns urbanization and elevation of poverty levels, because majority ty of individuals in towns lack ways of earning a living, most of them opt to live in slums; areas with the poorest living standards (United Nations Environmental Program; UNEP, 2010, p.1).

Another negative contribution of urbanization is the k of jobs. It is important to note here that, in addition to the increasing stress of on available resources, exaggerated population settlement in urban centers also strain the few job opportunities available in urban centers; a problem, which most developing countries are facing.

In addition to such strains, such population influxes can cause other labor problems for example misuse of workers, underpayment; something that translates in many political, socials, and economic problems such as frequent unrests and demonstrations.

In conclusion, although urbanization is one of the most important achievements a nation can have, it is important for all governments to formulate workable policies that will act as mitigating factors on problems, which may arise as a result of urbanization.

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Reference List

Calvert, P., & Calvert, S. (2007). Politics and Society in the Third World (3rd e.d.). Essex, England: Pearson’s Education Limited.

Satterthwaite, D., Mitlin, D., &Hardoy, E. J. (1992). Environmental problems in Third world cities. London: Earthscan Publications limited. Web.

United Nations Environmental Program; UNEP. Urban issues. UNEP. Web.

University of Michigan. Urbanization and global change. Web.

Visaria, P. M., &Jones, G. W. (2001). Urbanization in large developing countriesIndonesia, Brazil, and India. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Web.

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