Urbanisation 101: Why Bother?

Poor air quality, creaking public services, noise pollution, congested traffic and lack of green spaces are some of the most commonly cited downsides of urbanisation. Despite such negative aspects, why are governments across the world, particularly in Asia, so keen to accelerate it?

The arguments are many but, for the purposes of this backgrounder, we break them down as follows:

  • Efficiency:Cities are often more efficient than rural areas. Less effort is needed to supply basic amenities such as fresh water and electricity. Research and recycling programs are possible only in cities. In most cities flats are prevalent. In flats many people can be accommodated within a small land area.

  • Convenience: Access to education, health, social services and cultural activities is more readily available to people in cities than in villages. Life in cities is much mored comfortable, compared to life in villages. Cities have more advanced communication and transport networks.

  • Concentration of resources: Since most major human settlements were established near natural resources from ancient times, lot of resources are available in and around cities. Facilities to exploit these resources optimally also exist only in cities.

  • Concentration of Educational facilities: More schools, colleges and universities are established in cities to train and develop human resources. Variety of educational choices are available offering students a wide choice for their future careers.

  • Better Social integration: People of many castes ,groupsand religions live and work together in cities, which creates better understanding and harmony and helps breakdown social and cultural barriers.

  • New Markets: Internet has opened up a new market world wide. Any one can sell in this market by posting Free classifieds web from the comfort of the home.

  • Economic Improvement: High-tech industries earn valuable foreign exchange and lot of money for the country.