What is Urbanisation?
As world populations have expanded over the past fifty years, there has also been a drift of people out of the city centres and countryside into the suburbs. This outward expansion of cities is called urbanisation.
To meet the demand for more suburbs, industrial production has grown fifty times over the last century, 80% of it since 1950. This has resulted in vast amounts of raw materials being taken from the forests, earth and waters. Polluting industries are growing rapidly in the developing world as they rush to catch up with consumerism in the developed world. Cities around the world are sprawling, bursting at the seams with people, houses, cars and factories.
Concrete is replacing forests and wetlands, smog is replacing clean air, traffic noise is replacing peace, and housing is replacing agricultural land. As cities grow, ecosystems are lost. The systems that sustain life adapt or are destroyed. People and their domestic animals compete with wildlife for space.
Rapid population growth and limited land put a lot of pressure on politicians and planners to allow unlimited outward expansion of our cities. We must stabilize our population at a sustainable level. We must build cities for people by integrating nature into their design, and we must increase the population density in cities to prevent urban sprawl. Higher density and nature appear to be contradictory forces but a balance is required between humans and nature if humans and the environment are to survive.
There has been an exodus of urban dwellers to the countryside in some Western countries over the past few years. Country homes are built in locations that can only be reached by cars. In rural areas, what was once an occasional passing vehicle is now a barrage of trucks and cars.
Urbanisation, Roads and Transportation are inseparably linked but for more detail on Roads and Transportation look under their own subject headings.
What you can do
If you live in a city, make your home in an area where residential density is highest. Live in the same suburb where you work and your children go to school. Then you may not need to own a car or use it every day.
Use the telephone and the internet for paying bills, shopping or searching for information. Determine whether the internet could be utilised more effectively to enable you to work from home.