Custom «The Urban Climacteric» Essay Paper Sample

The Urban Climacteric


Urban cities grow at a rapid rate in comparison to what has been predicted in various reports, with an estimate of 500 million people expected to live in the urban areas (Davis 1). The developing countries of Asia, South America, and Africa are estimated to be regions where rapid development occurs. This growth of population is attributed to the increase in urban birth rate and the population shift into urban areas. This essay examines the issues presented in the chapter about the urban population as well as establishes its connection to the course work.

Emergence of Intermediate Mega Cities

According to United Nations Population, mega cities in the world, for example, New York, and Tokyo are estimated to pass their threshold capacity (Davis 5). This population explosion brings into question whether the cities would be able to accommodate such high numbers of individuals while still maintaining the desirable biological and ecological conditions. Urban cities have developed new urban networks and corridors that join various metropolitans. Such a development has led to the expansion of urban cities since the bordering regions are incorporated and swallowed by the main urban regions creating one single larger urban city with a very high population. However, such a development along the Gulf of Guinea is considered to have negative effects as stated in the studies done by OECD, predicting that an increase in population along the region will go hand in hand with an increase in poverty levels (Davis 6).

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In addition, urban city evolution will increase the level of inequality in the size and the economic development between cities (Davis 6). People might also be forced to live in small cities that have little or no planning structures, which might contribute to poor or inadequate health, education, and infrastructure facilities. To address this problem in China, the government took reactive measures by going ahead to set up policies that ensured proper planning systems and an equal urban investment. This was done with the aim of ensuring that that population in the country was equally distributed and providing the equal distribution of public resources.

Rural towns are also said to grow drastically, according to studies made by Guldin and Jeremy Seabrook (Davis 9) because the rural towns are engulfed by the rapid industrialization that has seen a decrease in the rate of rural-urban migration. A shift of urban centers into rural towns has devastating consequences not only for the environment but also to the livelihood of the rural dwellers since they mostly depend on the resources they harvest from their farms. This will also affect the settlement and development pattern in both the rural and urban regions, creating a community that lives within the two blends. People, living within this intermediate, are divided into two groups - the outsiders and insiders, therefore creating a division within the community.

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Industrialization and the Emergence of Slums

Industrialization has been the main contributor to the migration of the population into rural cities not only in China but also around Asia, as people look for employment opportunities. However, the case is different in the developing countries that always suffer from the massive closure of industries and deindustrialization when industries shift locations to other developed countries. Nigel Harris claims that for the third world nations, a fall in income does not affect the rural-urban migration, yet the population of the country continued to increase yearly (Davis 14).  This increase in the population in urban cities was attributed to deregulation in the agricultural sector and financial discipline enforced by the World Bank. Consequently, an increase in the population in the urban areas has led to the increase of urban slums at a very fast rate. Many argue that this trend in migration will affect the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals because the developing countries of Asia, South America, and Africa lag behind in the eradication of poverty and the decrease of the ignorance level in their countries. Furthermore, the level of infant mortality is still high in these regions. Therefore, there is the need to improve and reconstruct the vision of urban cities for a change to be seen in the cities all around the world.

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Relation of the Chapter to the Class Work

Industrialization has been viewed as the key contributor to modernization that has translated to urbanization. The emergence of industries has led to the attraction of labor force into the cities to work in the industries. Urbanization is still experienced around the world, with people trying to look for better ways to improve their living conditions; however, such a shift brings with it a number of challenges to the economy and the development of the country. It has also led to the expansion of cities through the infrastructure development as cities expand due to industrialization and technological advancement. The cities’ continuous expansion has also ended up swallowing rural towns that have been forced to in co-operate industries. This has led to the destruction of the environment and the livelihood of those living in rural towns.

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Lewis has the idea that urbanization leads to the decline in other areas like agriculture since all the young people and the able labor force have shifted to go and search for blue-collar jobs in the cities. The main purpose of the jobs is to earn income wage; therefore, anyone who does not earn any form of income lives below the normal standard of living. The chapter clearly highlights how the agricultural sector has been greatly affected by the migration of the population into urban cities looking for jobs. There has been a significant decline in the agricultural and fishing sector since it has been substituted with industrialization, creating a community that cannot sustain its food security. All this has led to the questioning of the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals that have been set since many countries in Africa and Asia have high poverty levels and they have not achieved equality.

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Lewis believes that there is also the high case of inequality in the development of cities in the country. This is attributed to the poor structure in how benefits flow and how they are distributed in the country. The chapter also addresses the issue of inequality between the rural and urban cities, which has been attributed to the economic imbalance within the country with rural towns lagging behind. Economic imbalance and the overpopulation in cities have been the great contributors to the creation and emergence of slums.

The chapter talks about people moving into the cities to look for the employment in the industries. The point concurs with Lewis’ thought that the transformation of the economy from the agrarian one to industrialism pulls the labor force from the reserve areas. The chapter also points out the main reason for the rural-urban migration is to earn income while working in industries, except for some countries in Africa where rural-urban migration is not related to industrialization. The number of people, who secure a job, is usually limited, leading to an increase in the number of unemployed population in urban centers. The chapter also predicts the emergence and the creation of mega-cities - the intermediate between urban cities and rural towns that have led to the emergence of bigger and better cities.   

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Urbanization in the developing countries brings a number of challenges that need to be addressed. The need to control the population increase in the world cannot be understated since resources are exploited continuously. The number of people moving into the urban centers grows yearly, which puts a strain on the infrastructure and the available resources. In Africa, the situation is worse due to poor urban planning, which has contributed to the increase in growth of slums. These conditions are usually biologically and ecologically unhealthy. Therefore, governments should take reactive measures to solve these problems.

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