The Problem with Fast Urbanization
The process of fast urbanization has serious problems, which include:
- Balancing underemployment and unemployment
- Dealing with inefficient public service systems that are outgrown by an ever-increasing demand
- Balancing a limited public health care infrastructure
- Dealing with homelessness and other issues
Back in 2003, the United Nations Population Division, in its publication World Population Prospects: The 2002 revision – Population Growth In, estimated that by the year 2025 the world’s population will be more than 5 billion and 78% of us will live in urban areas. Since most of the urbanization will happen in cities in Least Developed Countries (LDCs), there is a growing concern among governments around the world how these cities will absorb about 1.8 billion people. Given the experience in Most Developed Countries (MDCs), there is growing concern whether the governments from LDCs will repeat the same mistakes that MDCs did.
4 Reasons Why Urbanization in LDCs Will be More Difficult to Manage
- When compared to urbanization trends in MDCs, the rate of urbanization in LDCs is much higher. These cities will be forced to absorb more people in less time.
- ?In previous urbanization processes, the migration from rural areas to urban areas once provided pressure on agricultural land because MDCs could rely on LDCs for food growth. Today, as more and more people in LDCs abandon the agriculture industry, there is an increased pressure on how the demand for food is going to be met.
- ?The advances in communication have increased the ability of people in rural areas to find out about opportunities in urban areas more quickly. The advances in transportation have lowered the cost and time that were once required to travel great distances.
- When urban areas started to get too crowded in MDCs, people could traditionally immigrate to other areas such as LDCs. With LDCs getting too crowded, there is nowhere to emigrate to that provides a escape from crowds.
The urbanization in LDCs will be more difficult for governments to manage because these cities will handle a double-edged problem: balance a growing population without excess capacity of land or resources to rely on.
Reference: Schwab, W.A. (2005). Deciphering The City. Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 5: Community in the Modern World. P. 120-136.