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Urban Transition The Plague In Disguise

2624 words - 11 pages

Monish Mehta
Urban Studies 350OL
Spring 2014

Urban Transition - The Plague in Disguise


According to Ronald Skeldon, author of “Demographic and Urban Transitions in a Global System and Policy Responses” Urban Transition is the transitions to societies where a large majority of the population is concentrated in urban areas. Urban transition is one of the phenomenon which has an impression of being both positive and negative part of development. Urban transition has a potential to positively impact a nation by increasing the economy growth and reducing the poverty. In addition, it has a potential to give safer and healthier future to children and adults. These are just some of the issues that can be fixed by urban transition IF and only IF it’s being carried out properly. On other hand, it can also be a hazardous phenomenon for the citizens of a country. Urban transition is known for giving many challenges on the fellow citizens. Firstly, it could cause overpopulation, which in turn can cause high unemployment rates. Secondly, it increases the chances of no basic access to land and health services to urban poor residents of slum areas in the cities. Lastly, urban transition can result in lower sustainability due to increasing amount of migrations. The trend of moving to bigger city in search for a “better” living condition and “safer” future could cost a city or even a nation huge amounts of loss. Even though there are many benefits to going through urban transformation, urban transition should not occur within a country or a city because it results in drastic migration, urban overpopulation and causes lower sustainability.

Migration - Kick Starting the Urban Transition

On contrary, urban transition is usually thought of as beneficial for the country. Citizens have high expectations out of it. Virtually all of world’s population lives in either the city or the town. Urban Transition is fueled with huge amount of migration into the cities. Due to this reason the city growth is inevitable. Here are the numbers for a better understanding, “China had 132 cities in 1949; it now has 655, according to official data...This abrupt increase in the number of cities – the combined product of changing classifications of urban localities and the rapid growth of population in those localities.” (Bai 335-336). This ridiculous increase in the city growth is caused due to unstoppable migration which pushes development of new cities. Another problem with migration is that people don't always plan ahead of time. To better understand what I mean, “The other dubious assumption is that migrants rely on a ‘move first, then search’ strategy with regard to employment, since there is increasing evidence that migrants often arrange employment prior to their move to the city.” (Hakkert, 222). To this day I hear about people moving to another state or city without having a plan of what they will be doing. Their reasoning for moving to another place is that...

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