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Is Urbanisation Positive Or Negative Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 1100 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Urban populations have greatly increased. Just recently, it exceeds the rural population around the world. There are some advantages and disadvantages of urbanization. This essay, will discuss its positive effects and negative effects of urbanization.

“Urbanization is good and desirable. It goes hand in hand with economic development” (Debroy, 2009). People move into cities to get a better employment. In rural areas, people usually have small family farms, but it is difficult to improve one’s living standard. Farm living depends on unpredictable environmental conditions. If it comes up against a drought or flood, the life will become very difficult. So people living on a farm might wish to take their chance by moving to the city and trying to make enough money to send back home to their struggling family. That is why more and more people move to cities. The development of social economy is the driving force of urbanization, while the economic globalization further accelerated urbanization.

Urbanization affects many areas. At first let’s discuss the relationship between urbanization and population. U.S. Population Research Institute show:

“There are about half of the current global population lives in cities. By 2050 this proportion will increase to two-thirds, which would bring more pressure to the city’s infrastructure and resources. In 1900, 10 of the world’s most populated cities were in North America and Europe, but in the 20th century, in the top ten cities, only Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles were the cities in developed countries. But developing countries can not provide appropriate living conditions for so many urban residents. At present, there are about 25 to 30 percent of the population all over the world lives in inadequate housing facilities, or lack of water in and sewage treatment facilities streets” (Chen, 2009).

Urban slums are places where not only diarrhea, typhoid, gastroenteritis and other water-related diseases but also the breeding ground for sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS. So the uncontrolled increase population is one of the biggest problems of urbanization. The government needs to resolve it.

Urbanization has a huge impact on the environment. The large-scale urban constructions change the original natural environment, and cause great changes for the original ecological environment.

“It also changed the original nature of the underlying surface. The changes of underlying surface cause the urban heat island effect. Urban construction destroys the original river system. Urbanization changes the way we use the land, and changes the original agricultural land into building land and formed a city function area” (The effects of urbanization, 2008).

So the urban landscape replaces the original rural landscape. Urbanization also influences the forms of employment of residents, regional industrial activities and non-agricultural activities become the main working style in the cities.

Generally, the advantages of urbanization can be listed as follows. First, urbanization makes our life easier and more convenient, and it has promoted communication among people. Second, urbanization can quicken our pace of living and working style to catch up with the developed countries-as we all know that the developed countries are all high urbanized. Third, when more and more people flood into cities, the city is often becoming bigger and bigger and urban development is experiencing a new round of leaping forward. Fourth, urbanization can bring a lot of job opportunities for the people who are out of work.

“Urbanization is often viewed as a negative trend, but in fact, it occurs naturally from individual and corporate efforts to reduce expense in commuting and transportation while improving opportunities for jobs, education, housing, and transportation. Living in cities permits individuals and families to take advantage of the opportunities of proximity, diversity, and marketplace competition” (The effects of urbanization, 2008).

However, the disadvantages of urbanization are also obvious. To begin with, the city pollution, especially industrial “three wastes”¼ˆso called: air pollution, water pollution and solid waste pollution¼‰, damages the environment and ecology of peri-urban area. Air pollution, water pollution, and solid waste pollution decrease the quality of the urban environment and endanger people’s health. The changes of underlying surface cause the urban heat island effect. The urban heat island effect has become a growing concern problem over the years. Additional city heat is given off by vehicles and factories, as well as industrial and domestic heating and cooling units. “This effect causes the city to become 1 to 6℃ warmer than surrounding landscapes. The effect also reduces the water in soil and increase carbon dioxide emissions” (The effects of urbanization, 2008).

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Traffic and factory may cause noise pollution, which affects people’s rest, work and communication, and even affects their health. Traffic congestion and poor housing conditions are other problems in cities. Traffic congestion is leading to serious wastes of time and energy. Meanwhile lack of housing and its’ poor quality affect the quality of urban environment. Rapid growth of the urban population may cause the problem of unemployment. It is imbalance in development between Urban and rural. A large number of landless farmers on resettlement are the biggest problem of government departments. Moreover, more problems, such as increasing crime rate, over-crowding, might increase, since more people are concentrated in a relatively smaller place.

But the problems above can be solved by government. First, the government should order the factory to reduce emissions. Then advises people do the garbage recycling. Second, the government should plant more trees in the city. Third, develops public transports. Finally, the government needs to control the population increase and improves people’s living standards.

It is obvious that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Urbanization is an inevitable product of social development. High urbanized growth is the mark of developed countries. The process of urbanization is same as the process of human development. Although in this process we will meet many problems, we should try to solve it. So our city will have a better future.


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