It is inevitable to accept that the urban centres are the driving force for our advancing civilization. Accordingly, the economic policies of emerging economies are revolving around the urban environment to provide required boost for growth. As per the data of World Bank, today, almost half of the global population have theirs habitat in the urban environment. In this situation, it is equally essential to enquire that whether this ongoing pace of Urbanizing world is naturally driven or mere bubbles of urban glamour.
Major characteristics of modern Urbanizing settlements..
So far, there is no common consensus over the fixed single criterion for urban settlement across the world. Today, there are various benchmarks for different nations to decide urban settlements. Nevertheless, population density, size, administrative set up, and occupation are some of notable common things which are collectively accepted to determine and differentiate the rural and urban environment.
Among these, population density and size of population is different from nation to nation. But, in terms of governance and occupation, we have better uniformity. For example, to be called a urban settlement, at least 75 percent of the total population should work in the secondary or tertiary activities.
Causes of ongoing pace of urbanization
Undoubtedly, today, the pace of Urbanizing world is unprecedented compare to historical records. In the 18th century, it was just hovering around 2 to 3 percent. At that time, only trade and manufacturing activities were the ultimate driving force for urban settlement. And, the survival of the urban centres were largely depended on the rural hinterlands.
Really, there were a symbiotic relationship between Rural-urban settlements for the mutual development.
However, nowadays, the age old context of urbanization has been replaced by the urban lifestyle than the occupation and employments. Large amount of resources are being pumped to create urban glamour.
Moreover, paucity of resources and occupational bottlenecks have almost clogged the productive economic activities other than agriculture. These are the reasons why exodus of rural people flooding urban centres to be a victim of greedy elements.
Ongoing pace of Urbanizing world–on the cost of rural environment ?
Urbanization propelled by migration for survival is the major feature of ongoing Urbanizing process, especially, in the most of the developing countries. It means that ongoing urbanizing world isn’t a product of development but displacement.
Urban centres in the developing countries are rapidly growing just because of migration from rural areas.This is enough to prove that due to lack of means of livelihood and basic facilities in the rural environment, people are migrating for survival.
Then, how do we claim that growing pace of urbanization is the sign of only development. Had the process of urbanization started in the rural areas with structural change, then, it would have been a praiseworthy move. But, the stark reality is totally different.
Stress on resources due to ongoing Urbanizing world
Historically, human settlements were located in the resource rich regions to fulfill daily requirements. But, today, the demand of real estate market determines the location of settlement.
In this pattern, these settlements are being supplied through optional infrastructural connectivity. This means, suppling water from distant region requires extra energy resources, and so is common with other facilities as well. Will the ongoing Urbanizing world be sustainable anymore ?
In the recent generations, the term urbanization is totally misunderstood or misinterpreted. It is an evolved human habitat with the advancement of human skills, culture, and standards of living within the carrying capacity of nature. Simply, it is a process of Socio-economic transformation.
So, just constructing attractive infrastructure, malls and unsustainable occupation inconsistent with environment, will be nothing but the potential invitation for cultural anarchy and health disasters.