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Urbanisation: the characteristic of modern cities

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The more urban a city is the lesser you’ll find rustic culture, village life and other aspects of rural existence. Urbanisation is all about enhancing civilization, bringing more progress and prosperity into a city.


The face of modern life

As more and larger scale industries, big company chains and commerce increases, you can well expect urbanisation to take over rural life. Every town and village has at some point or the other had its own flourishing agriculture, local services and small scale or cottage industry (Wikipedia 2007 [online]). But you’ll find that with time, urbanisation grows and more industries occupy the place. That means these companies will need more land and resources for them to expand. So obviously, villages will be demolished to make way for more urbanisation. The process of urbanisation is all about rural life being traded for urban culture (Wikipedia 2007 [online]).


Random or planned

Did you know that urbanisation could either mushroom all over the place or be a planned activity? The planned ones require strategy and design many months in advance – maybe even years! But you rarely find this form of urbanisation in most cities and villages. Instead, the more common form is where modern life just appears out of nowhere. If you look at many of the ancient cities, most of them have undergone urbanisation in a sudden and random manner. It’s because of years of invasion by foreigners who have in turn superimposed their urbanisation and way of life into the villages. Roads have been built into villages, land has been encroached upon and the geometric structure has also been changed many times to suit the taste and preferences of the invading country (Wikipedia [online]).  


What’s the impact?

If you’ve ever wondered what urbanisation is all about and how it affects the villages, here’s what happens. The general perception as given out by the media is that urbanisation is far superior to rural life. There is also a general notion because of this, that cities offer better facilities and standard of living as compared to rural places. Also because of urbanisation in cities, the cost of living is high. It is expensive to raise children and there is a restriction in the living space and food supplies. Urbanisation means that the average number of children a woman bears will be much lesser than in villages (MacQuarie 1997 [online]).   


Why does it happen?

The main reason urbanisation occurs is because people from the rural areas move to urban regions (BCB 2001 [online]). It usually happens in the developing countries today. (Internet Geography 2007 [online]). Before the 1950s you’d usually find the more developed countries going through urbanisation. It’s because rural people migrated to the cities in search of better jobs and basically take advantage of the growth opportunities there. But if you look around you today, you’ll find the bigger more advanced cities doing a contradictory thing – people are moving away from cities and going to the rural areas (Internet Geography 2007 [online]).  It’s called counter urbanisation and it could be because people are fed up of the pollution, stress and tension of city life (Grid Arendal 2000 [online]).  The villages offer them peace of mind, plenty of nature and good healthy living.




Wikipedia (2007). Urbanization.  Available from Last accessed 25 October 2007.


MacQuarie University (1997). Urbanisation: Urban Impacts. Available from


Internet Geography (2007). Urbanisation. Available from

topics/urbanisation.html. Last accessed 24 October 2007.


Grid Arendal (2000). Urbanisation.  Available from


BCB (2001). Urbanisation. Available from facts/urbanisation.htm. Cited  02 January 2001.

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