Friday, June 17, 2011

CheckPoint: Urbanization Trends

Urbanization is defined as the growth of a population in a given concentrated area.

Growth trends that we should look at are; fertility, morality, and migration. Since the poorer

countries cannot afford to support the population in their rural areas, so the people tend to

migrate to the cities or urban areas because there are more job opportunities.

Urbanization is usually caused by high concentration of jobs for professionals and skilled

workers in urban centers, and the lack of employment opportunities in the more rural areas. In

addition, developing countries move away from economies based mainly on agriculture, causing

the farmers and their children to become industrial workers instead. Also with the improvement

of agricultural technology (breeds, chemicals, and machines) means that there is less need for

farmers. Most of the heavy industries are located in, and around major cities. This can be the

cause of many people moving away from rural areas, so they can be closer to their jobs.
            The major city that I chose to talk about is; Comoros, Africa. “One of the major impacts

of urbanization in Africa is due to the increased generation of solid waste, which contributes land

conversion for landfills.”  (Saundry, 2008) It has become a common practice to dump solid waste

on beaches, in rivers, and in the sea, especially in places like Comoros and Madagascar. This

practice has been discontinued in places like Mauritius and Seychelles, where they have adopted

a natural solid waste management plan.

The statistical data shows that urbanization population has doubled since 1970. If this

trend continues it will continue to devastate the incomes of those living in the rural areas.
“During the 1990s, urban livelihoods in Africa began to suffer a series of economic stresses,

which accelerated in 1997 and then accelerated again, with the inception of fast-track land

reform, from 2000.” (Potts, 2006)  “[Africa continues to urbanize but the so called

'urbanization-development-nexus' debate remains unsettled. Is urbanization correlated with

economic development in Africa? Some argue that, although urbanization is positively correlated

with economic development in Europe and elsewhere, Africa's urbanization is parasitic and not

conducive to economic development. Others contend that there is nothing abnormal about

urbanization in Africa.]”  (Obeng-Odoom, 2010).

            There are many things that the people of Africa can do to start changing the urbanization

trends that are now occurring. It has been an over populated and under-educated country for far

too long. I believe that if they were to find better ways to manage the trends in agricultural and

industrial areas, that this country would be doing a lot better off. With-out any solutions or if the

people of Africa do not act quickly, then their problems are sooner or later going to become

America’s problem.

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