With the increasing pace of urbanisation along with the baggage of problems it comes.
- Urbanisation is the process of transformation that occurs as a society evolves from predominantly rural to predominantly urban areas.
- It involves the increase in the proportion of a country’s population residing in urban areas, leading to the expansion and growth of cities and towns.
- Urbanisation is not just about the physical expansion of cities but also encompasses social, economic, and cultural transformations.
- It involves the migration of individuals from rural to urban areas in pursuit of employment opportunities, improved living standards, access to better education and healthcare facilities, and a more cosmopolitan lifestyle.
What is urban?
Urban refers to areas characterised by:
- high population density,
- advanced infrastructure, and
- diverse, typically non-agricultural economic activities.
- These areas typically have a concentration of buildings, housing complexes, commercial establishments, and social amenities.
The Indian Census identifies two categories of ‘urban’ areas:
Statutory towns — those which have urban local bodies like municipal corporation, municipality or municipal committee.
Census towns — All those places satisfying the following 3 criteria:
- Population of atleast 5000 persons.
- Minimum population density of 400 persons per sq. km. and
- 75 per cent of the male workforce is employed in the non-agricultural activities.
Urban agglomerations encompass a broader area, including not only a city but also its surrounding suburbs and neighboring towns that share economic, social, and functional ties.
It happens in rural areas due to expansion of urban activities and characteristics in rural areas which gradually replaces the rural traits.
Positive impacts of urbanisation
Economic Growth and Opportunities:
- Urban areas serve as engines of economic growth.
- According to the World Bank, more than 80 per cent of global GDP is generated in the cities.
- The concentration of industries, businesses, and services in urban centers leads to increased productivity, innovation, and entrepreneurial activities.
Improved Infrastructure and Services:
- Urban areas tend to have better-developed infrastructure and a wider range of services compared to rural areas.
- Urbanisation drives the expansion of transportation networks.
Social and Cultural Exchange:
- Urbanisation fosters social interaction and cultural exchange due to the diversity of people from different backgrounds residing nearby.
- Urban centers become melting pots of diverse cultures, languages, traditions, and ideas.
- This cultural vibrancy promotes creativity, tolerance, and the exchange of knowledge, leading to social cohesion and a rich cultural tapestry.
Education and Skill Development:
- Urban areas offer better access to educational institutions, including schools, colleges, and universities.
- This facilitates higher levels of education and skill development among urban populations.
- Urban areas often witness the adoption and development of advanced technologies.
- The concentration of research institutions, technology parks, and innovation hubs in urban centers fosters technological advancements and promotes innovation.
- Urbanisation facilitates the dissemination of new technologies, leading to improved efficiency in various sectors such as transportation, communication, energy, and healthcare.
Various social problems due to urbanisation
- Overcrowding and Housing Shortage
- Traffic Congestion and Pollution
- Inequality and Social Exclusion
- Environmental Degradation
- Inadequate Service Provision
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB