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Urbanization and its Challenges

Urbanization and its Challenges

What is Urbanization?

  • Urbanization refers to the process of increase in population in cities and towns compared to rural areas. Urbanization in India is not new. The Indus valley civilization had planned cities. These cities had huge population with planned housing, roads and other facilities.
  • Urbanization is also common in Greek and Roman empire. The population was concentrated in cities like Rome where all modern amenities made available. For Example, Ancient Rome had a network of piped water that was brought from the outskirts of city. Rome also had marketplaces and entertainment facilities for its city residents.
  • Modern day urbanization began with the advent of Industrial Revolution in England. More number of people took up jobs in factories. They began residing in houses around the factories. All the amenities needed for living were available nearby and the modern city was born. Unlike the urban cities of ancient world, the modern city in England had poor housing and roads and provided very low quality of life.

Urbanization in India    [Urbanization and its Challenges ]

  • Urbanization refers to the process of increase in population in cities and towns compared to rural areas. Urbanization in India is not new. The Indus valley civilization had planned cities. These cities had huge population with planned housing, roads and other facilities.
  • Urbanization is also common in Greek and Roman empire. The population was concentrated in cities like Rome where all modern amenities made available. For Example, Ancient Rome had a network of piped water that was brought from the outskirts of city. Rome also had marketplaces and entertainment facilities for its city residents.
  • Modern day urbanization began with the advent of Industrial Revolution in England. More number of people took up jobs in factories. They began residing in houses around the factories. All the amenities needed for living were available nearby and the modern city was born. Unlike the urban cities of ancient world, the modern city in England had poor housing and roads and provided very low quality of life.

Main Causes For Increase In Urbanization In India

  • Increase in per capita income( ie., the average income of per person of a population)
  • A rapid growth in economy
  • Rise in demand for modern amenities
  • Increase in the growth of private sector jobs, especially the services sector which has cities as their base. For Example, Software companies are found mostly in cities.
  • A faster growth in population
  • Impact of cities in the west

Positive Effects of Urbanization

  • The growth of service sector and the jobs that it offers in cities has improved the economic growth in India. Services sector alone contributes to more than 50% of India’s economy. The urban areas are very important to sustain this sector.       (Urbanization and its Challenges )
  • At a societal level urban areas have lost the oppression of caste system which is still prevalent in rural areas. Thus cities have provided equality to all sections of population.
  • Urbanization in India has provided modern facilities like shopping complexes, suburban and metro trains and in general a higher ease and comfort of living compared to rural India.

Negative Effects Of Urbanization   [Urbanization and its Challenges ]

  • At a Family level:
    • Urban jobs are mostly centered around corporates. They have higher number of working hours. The resulting stress causes rift in the families. For Example, the prevailing high rates of divorce among software employees             Urbanization and its Challenges
    • The use of gadgets is more widespread in urban areas and the resulting ‘gadgetisation‘ reduces the interpersonal communication in the family
  • At a Societal Level:
    • Urban areas have a lifestyle that is centred around individualism.
    • As a result there is no communal bonding between people as it is present in the villages.
  • At an Economic level:
    • Urban areas have high rates of consumption. This results in strain in production of food and other products. The increased demand for these consumables results in inflation.
    • Increase in urbanization can reduce the amount of land available for cultivation and may hamper agricultural productivity.
  • At an Environment level:
    • Cities consume more ecological resources like building materials and timber for its construction. This results in felling of more forests for timber.
    • Clearing green spaces like trees and parks and construction of building in every inch of space has made the Indian cities unfriendly to nature.
    • Pollution Delhi is suffering from severe degradation of air quality that resulted in many air pollution related illness.
    • The problems of garbage, improper sewage disposal produces a very low air quality. For Example, In Bangalore Toxic fumes covered most of the city and caused severe health hazards.

Impact Of Globalization On Indian Urban Society   [Urbanization and its Challenges ]

Positives:

  • Increased job opportunities: Due to the inflow of MNCs, FDIs, people have a wide choice of job opportunities provided they have the requisite skills. Startups like Ola, Swiggy etc. have revolutionized the Gig-Economy. Development of Industries have also provided jobs.
  • Increased Urbanization: It has been estimated that by 2050 more than 50% of India’s population will live in cities. The boom of the services sector and city-centric job creation has led to increasing rural to urban migration.
  • Better infrastructure: In terms of education, health, transport available to people. This has, in turn, enhanced the agglomeration of economies leading to industrial belts, IT parks, SEZ, CEZ etc.
  • Higher Per capita income: Employees are paid well albeit lesser than the global pay levels.
  • Enhanced lifestyle: Due to higher PCI and wide array of facilities available from which the consumer can choose. It has raised the quality of life of many.
  • Rapid Digitization: For faster and ease of connectivity, most of the services are digitized. This also increases the awareness of citizens in terms of rights, happenings around the world etc. On the Governmental side, there is more accountability and transparency and faster delivery of services.

Negatives:       [Urbanization and its Challenges ]

  • Family Structure: The increasing migration coupled with financial independence has led to the breaking of joint families into nuclear ones. The western influence of individualism has led to an aspirational generation of youth. Concepts of national identity, family, job and tradition are changing rapidly and significantly.
  • McDonaldization: A term denoting the increasing rationalization of the routine tasks of everyday life. It becomes manifested when a culture adopts the characteristics of a fast-food restaurant. McDonaldization is a re conceptualization of rationalization, or moving from traditional to rational modes of thought, and scientific management.       Urbanization and its Challenges
  • Marriage Values: Similarly, marriages have also lost their values. It is very much evident from the increasing number of divorce cases and the extra-marital affairs reported every now and then.
  • Walmartization: A term referring to profound transformations in regional and global economies through the sheer size, influence, and power of the big-box department store Walmart. It can be seen with the rise of big businesses which have nearly killed the small traditional businesses in our society.
  • Urban Sprawl: Increasing slums, unplanned urbanization are on the rise which is a ticking time-bomb.
  • Rise in Lifestyle diseases: Due to reduced physical activity, increased habits of liquor and smoking etc. Urbanization and its Challenges

ALSO READ : https://www.brainyias.com/iasbuzz/rapid-urbanization/

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