Urbanization refers to the population shift from rural areas to urban areas, the gradual increase in the proportion of people living in urban areas, and the ways in which each society adapts to this change. It is predominantly the process by which towns and cities are formed and become larger as more people begin living and working in central areas. Although the two concepts are sometimes used interchangeably, urbanization should be distinguished from urban growth: urbanization is "the proportion of the total national population living in areas classed as urban", while urban growth refers to "the absolute number of people living in areas classed as urban". The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008. It is predicted that by 2050 about 64% of the developing world and 86% of the developed world will be urbanized. That is equivalent to approximately 3 billion urbanites by 2050, much of which will occur in Africa and Asia. Notably, the United Nations has also recently projected that nearly all global population growth from 2017 to 2030 will be absorbed by cities, about 1.1 billion new urbanites over the next 13 years.
Urbanization is relevant to a range of disciplines, including urban planning, geography, sociology, architecture, economics, and public health. The phenomenon has been closely linked to modernization, industrialization, and the sociological process of rationalization. Urbanization can be seen as a specific condition at a set time (e.g., the proportion of total population or area in cities or towns), or as an increase in that condition over time. So urbanization can be quantified either in terms of, say, the level of urban development relative to the overall population, or as the rate at which the urban proportion of the population is increasing. Urbanization creates enormous social, economic and environmental changes, which provide an opportunity for sustainability with the “potential to use resources more efficiently, to create more sustainable land use and to protect the biodiversity of natural ecosystems.”
Urbanization is not merely a modern phenomenon, but a rapid and historic transformation of human social roots on a global scale, whereby predominantly rural culture is being rapidly replaced by predominantly urban culture. The first major change in settlement patterns was the accumulation of hunter-gatherers into villages many thousand years ago. Village culture is characterized by common bloodlines, intimate relationships, and communal behavior, whereas urban culture is characterized by distant bloodlines, unfamiliar relations, and competitive behavior. This unprecedented movement of people is forecast to continue and intensify during the next few decades, mushrooming cities to sizes unthinkable only a century ago. As a result, the world urban population growth curve has up till recently followed a quadratic-hyperbolic pattern.
Today, in Asia the urban agglomerations of Osaka, Karachi, Jakarta, Mumbai, Shanghai, Manila, Seoul and Beijing are each already home to over 20 million people, while Delhi and Tokyo are forecast to approach or exceed 40 million people. Cities such as Tehran, Istanbul, Mexico City, São Paulo, London, New York City, Lagos and Cairo are, or soon will be, home to over 10 million people each.
From the development of the earliest cities in Mesopotamia and Egypt until the 18th century, an equilibrium existed between the vast majority of the population who engaged in subsistence agriculture in a rural context, and small centres of populations in the towns where economic activity consisted primarily of trade at markets and manufactures on a small scale. Due to the primitive and relatively stagnant state of agriculture throughout this period, the ratio of rural to urban population remained at a fixed equilibrium. However, a significant increase in the percentage of the global urban population can be traced in the 1st millennium BCE. Another significant increase can be traced to Mughal India, where 15% of its population lived in urban centers during the 16th–17th centuries, higher than in Europe at the time. In comparison, the percentage of the European population living in cities was 8–13% in 1800.
With the onset of the British agricultural and industrial revolution in the late 18th century, this relationship was finally broken and an unprecedented growth in urban population took place over the course of the 19th century, both through continued migration from the countryside and due to the tremendous demographic expansion that occurred at that time. In England and Wales, the proportion of the population living in cities with more than 20,000 people jumped from 17% in 1801 to 54% in 1891. Moreover, and adopting a broader definition of urbanization, we can say that while the urbanized population in England and Wales represented 72% of the total in 1891, for other countries the figure was 37% in France, 41% in Prussia and 28% in the United States.
As labourers were freed up from working the land due to higher agricultural productivity they converged on the new industrial cities like Manchester and Birmingham which were experiencing a boom in commerce, trade and industry. Growing trade around the world also allowed cereals to be imported from North America and refrigerated meat from Australasia and South America. Spatially, cities also expanded due to the development of public transport systems, which facilitated commutes of longer distances to the city centre for the working class.
Urbanization rapidly spread across the Western world and, since the 1950s, it has begun to take hold in the developing world as well. At the turn of the 20th century, just 15% of the world population lived in cities. According to the UN, the year 2007 witnessed the turning point when more than 50% of the world population were living in cities, for the first time in human history.
Yale University in June 2016 published urbanization data from the time period 3700 BC to 2000 AD, the data was used to make a video showing the development of cities on the world during the time period.
Urbanization occurs either organically or planned as a result of individual, collective and state action. Living in a city can be culturally and economically beneficial since it can provide greater opportunities for access to the labor market, better education, housing and safety conditions, and reduce the time and expense of commuting and transportation. Condition like density, proximity, diversity, and marketplace competition are elements of an urban environment that deemed positive. However, there are also negative social phenomena that arise, alienation, stress, increased cost of living, and mass marginalization that are connected to an urban way of living. Suburbanization, which is happening in the cities of the largest developing countries, may be regarded as an attempt to balance these negative aspects of urban life while still allowing access to the large extent of shared resources.
In cities, money, services, wealth and opportunities are centralized. Many rural inhabitants come to the city to seek their fortune and alter their social position. Businesses, which provide jobs and exchange capital, are more concentrated in urban areas. Whether the source is trade or tourism, it is also through the ports or banking systems, commonly located in cities, that foreign money flows into a country.
Many people move into cities for the economic opportunities, but this does not fully explain the very high recent urbanization rates in places like China and India. Rural flight is a contributing factor to urbanization. In rural areas, often on small family farms or collective farms in villages, it has historically been difficult to access manufactured goods, though the relative overall quality of life is very subjective, and may certainly surpass that of the city. Farm living has always been susceptible to unpredictable environmental conditions, and in times of drought, flood or pestilence, survival may become extremely problematic.
In a New York Times article concerning the acute migration away from farming in Thailand, life as a farmer was described as "hot and exhausting". "Everyone says the farmer works the hardest but gets the least amount of money". In an effort to counter this impression, the Agriculture Department of Thailand is seeking to promote the impression that farming is "honorable and secure".
However, in Thailand, urbanization has also resulted in massive increases in problems such as obesity. Shifting from a rural environment to an urbanized community also caused a transition to a diet that was mainly carbohydrate based to a diet higher in fat and sugar, consequently causing a rise in obesity. City life, especially in modern urban slums of the developing world, is certainly hardly immune to pestilence or climatic disturbances such as floods, yet continues to strongly attract migrants. Examples of this were the 2011 Thailand floods and 2007 Jakarta flood. Urban areas are also far more prone to violence, drugs, and other urban social problems. In the United States, industrialization of agriculture has negatively affected the economy of small and middle-sized farms and strongly reduced the size of the rural labour market.
Particularly in the developing world, conflict over land rights due to the effects of globalization has led to less politically powerful groups, such as farmers, losing or forfeiting their land, resulting in obligatory migration into cities. In China, where land acquisition measures are forceful, there has been far more extensive and rapid urbanization (54%) than in India (36%), where peasants form militant groups (e.g. Naxalites) to oppose such efforts. Obligatory and unplanned migration often results in rapid growth of slums. This is also similar to areas of violent conflict, where people are driven off their land due to violence. Bogotá, Colombia, is one example of this.
Cities offer a larger variety of services, including specialist services not found in rural areas. These services requires workers, resulting in more numerous and varied job opportunities. Elderly people may be forced to move to cities where there are doctors and hospitals that can cater for their health needs. Varied and high quality educational opportunities are another factor in urban migration, as well as the opportunity to join, develop, and seek out social communities.
Urbanization also creates opportunities for women that are not available in rural areas. This creates a gender-related transformation where women are engaged in paid employment and have access to education. This may cause fertility to decline. However, women are sometimes still at a disadvantage due to their unequal position in the labour market, their inability to secure assets independently from male relatives and exposure to violence.
People in cities are more productive than in rural areas. An important question is whether this is due to agglomeration effects or whether cities simply attract those who are more productive. Economists have recently shown that there exists a large productivity gain due to locating in dense agglomerations. It is thus possible that agents locate in cities in order to benefit from these agglomeration effects.
The dominant conurbation(s) of a country can benefit to a greater extent from the same things cities offer, making them magnets for not just the non-urban population, but also urban and suburban population from other cities. Dominant conurbations are quite often primate cities, but do not have to be. For instance Greater Manila is rather a conurbation than a city: its 20 million overall population (over 20% national population) make it very much a primate city, but Quezon City (2.7 million), the largest municipality in Greater Manila, and Manila (1.6 million), the capital, are not. A conurbation's dominance can be measured by output, wealth, and especially population, each expressed as a percentage of an entire country. Greater Seoul is one conurbation with massive dominance over South Korea, it is home to 50% of the entire national population.
Though Greater Busan-Ulsan (15%, 8 million) and Greater Osaka (14%, 18 million) exhibit strong dominance in their respective countries, they are losing population to their even more dominant rivals, Seoul and Tokyo respectively.
As cities develop, effects can include a dramatic increase and change in costs, often pricing the local working class out of the market, including such functionaries as employees of the local municipalities. For example, Eric Hobsbawm's book The age of revolution: 1789–1848 (published 1962 and 2005) chapter 11, stated "Urban development in our period [1789–1848] was a gigantic process of class segregation, which pushed the new labouring poor into great morasses of misery outside the centres of government and business and the newly specialized residential areas of the bourgeoisie. The almost universal European division into a 'good' west end and a 'poor' east end of large cities developed in this period." This is likely due the prevailing south-west wind which carries coal smoke and other airborne pollutants downwind, making the western edges of towns preferable to the eastern ones. Similar problems now affect the developing world, rising inequality resulting from rapid urbanization trends. The drive for rapid urban growth and often efficiency can lead to less equitable urban development. Think tanks such as the Overseas Development Institute have proposed policies that encourage labor-intensive growth as a means of absorbing the influx of low-skilled and unskilled labor. One problem these migrant workers are involved with is the growth of slums. In many cases, the rural-urban low skilled or unskilled migrant workers, attracted by economic opportunities in urban areas, cannot find a job and afford housing in cities and have to dwell in slums. Urban problems, along with infrastructure developments, are also fueling suburbanization trends in developing nations, though the trend for core cities in said nations tends to continue to become ever denser. Urbanization is often viewed as a negative trend, but there are positives in the reduction of expenses in commuting and transportation while improving opportunities for jobs, education, housing, and transportation. Living in cities permits individuals and families to take advantage of the opportunities of proximity and diversity. While cities have a greater variety of markets and goods than rural areas, infrastructure congestion, monopolization, high overhead costs, and the inconvenience of cross-town trips frequently combine to make marketplace competition harsher in cities than in rural areas.
In many developing countries where economies are growing, the growth is often erratic and based on a small number of industries. For young people in these countries barriers exist such as, lack of access to financial services and business advisory services, difficulty in obtaining credit to start a business, and lack of entrepreneurial skills, in order for them to access opportunities in these industries. Investment in human capital so that young people have access to quality education and infrastructure to enable access to educational facilities is imperative to overcoming economic barriers.
The existence of urban heat islands has become a growing concern over the years. An urban heat island is formed when industrial and urban areas produce and retain heat. Much of the solar energy that reaches rural areas is consumed by evaporation of water from vegetation and soil. In cities, where there is less vegetation and exposed soil, most of the sun's energy is instead absorbed by buildings and asphalt; leading to higher surface temperatures. Vehicles, factories and industrial and domestic heating and cooling units release even more heat. As a result, cities are often 1 to 3 °C (1.8 to 5.4 °F) warmer than surrounding landscapes. Impacts also include reducing soil moisture and a reduction in reabsorption of carbon dioxide emissions.
In his book Whole Earth Discipline, Stewart Brand argues that the effects of urbanization are primarily positive for the environment. First, the birth rate of new urban dwellers falls immediately to replacement rate, and keeps falling, reducing environmental stresses caused by population growth. Secondly, emigration from rural areas reduces destructive subsistence farming techniques, such as improperly implemented slash and burn agriculture.
In July 2013 a report issued by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs warned that with 2.4 billion more people by 2050, the amount of food produced will have to increase by 70%, straining food resources, especially in countries already facing food insecurity due to changing environmental conditions. The mix of changing environmental conditions and the growing population of urban regions, according to UN experts, will strain basic sanitation systems and health care, and potentially cause a humanitarian and environmental disaster.
The occurrence of eutrophication in bodies of water is another effect large urban populations have on the environment. When rain occurs in these large cities, the rain filters down the pollutants such as CO2 and other green house gases in the air onto the ground below. Then, those chemicals are washed directly into rivers, streams and oceans, causing a decline in water quality and damaging marine ecosystems.
Eutrophication is a process which causes hypoxic water conditions and algal blooms that may be detrimental to the survival of aquatic life.Harmful algal blooms, which produce dangerous toxins, thrive in eutrophic environments that are also rich in nitrogen and phosphorus. In these ideal conditions, they overtake surface water, making it difficult for other organisms to receive sunlight and nutrients. Overgrowth of algal blooms causes a decrease in overall water quality and disrupts the natural balance of aquatic ecosystems. Furthermore, as algal blooms die, CO2 is produced, causing a more acidic environment, a process known as acidifacation.
The oceans surface also has the ability to absorb CO2 from the earths atmosphere as emissions increase with the rise in urbanization. In fact, it is reported that the ocean absorbs a quarter of the CO2 produced by humans. This has been useful to the environment by decreasing the harmful effects of greenhouse gases, but also further perpetuates acidification. Changes in pH inhibit the proper formation of calcium carbonate, a crucial component for many marine organisms to maintain shells or skeletons. This is especially true for many species of mollusks and coral. Regardless, some species have been able to instead adapt or thrive in a more acidic environment 
Rapid growth of communities create new challenges in the developed world and one such challenge is an increase in food waste  also known as urban food waste. Food waste is the disposal of food products that can no longer be used due to unused products, expiration, or spoilage. The increase of food waste can raise environmental concerns such as increase production of methane gases and attraction of disease vectors. Landfills are the third leading cause of the release of methane, causing a concern on its impact to our ozone and on the health of individuals. Accumulation of food waste causes increased fermentation, which increases the risk of rodent and bug migration. An increase in migration of disease vectors creates greater potential of disease spreading to humans.
Urbanization can have a large effect on biodiversity by causing a division of habitats and thereby alienation of species, a process known as habitat fragmentation. Habitat fragmentation does not destroy the habitat, as seen in habitat loss, but rather breaks it apart with things like roads and railways This change may affect a species ability to sustain life by separating it from the environment in which it is able to easily access food, and find areas that they may hide from predation  With proper planning and management, fragmentation can be avoided by adding corridors that aid in the connection of areas and allow for easier movement around urbanized regions.
Depending on the various factors, such as level of urbanization, both increases or decreases in "species richness" can be seen. This means that urbanization may be detrimental to one species but also help facilitate the growth of others. In instances of housing and building devevlopment, many times vegetation is completely removed immediately in order to make it easier and less expensive for construction to occur, thereby obliterating any native species in that area. Other times, such as with birds, urbanization may allow for an increase in richness when organisms are able to adapt to the new environment. This can be seen in species that may find food while scavenging developed areas or vegetation that has been added after urbanization has occurred i.e planted trees in city areas 
In the developing world, urbanization does not translate into a significant increase in life expectancy. Rapid urbanization has led to increased mortality from non-communicable diseases associated with lifestyle, including cancer and heart disease. Differences in mortality from contagious diseases vary depending on the particular disease and location.
Urban health levels are on average better in comparison to rural areas. However, residents in poor urban areas such as slums and informal settlements suffer "disproportionately from disease, injury, premature death, and the combination of ill-health and poverty entrenches disadvantage over time." Many of the urban poor have difficulty accessing health services due to their inability to pay for them; so they resort to less qualified and unregulated providers.
While urbanization is associated with improvements in public hygiene, sanitation and access to health care, it also entails changes in occupational, dietary and exercise patterns. It can have mixed effects on health patterns, alleviating some problems and accentuating others.
One such effect is the formation of food deserts. Nearly 23.5 million people in the United States lack access to supermarkets within one mile of their home. Several studies suggest that long distances to a grocery store are associated with higher rates of obesity and other health disparities.
Food deserts in developed countries often correspond to areas with a high-density of fast food chains and convenience stores that offer little to no fresh food. Urbanization has been shown to be associated with the consumption of less fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and a higher consumption of processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages. Poor access to healthy food and high intakes of fat, sugar and salt are associated with a greater risk for obesity, diabetes and related chronic disease. Overall, body mass index and cholesterol levels increase sharply with national income and the degree of urbanization.
Food deserts in the United States are most commonly found in low-income and predominately African American neighborhoods. One study on food deserts in Denver, Colorado found that, in addition to minorities, the affected neighborhoods also had a high proportion of children and new births. In children, urbanization is associated with a lower risk of under-nutrition but a higher risk of overweight.
Urbanization has also been associated with an increased risk for asthma as well. Throughout the world, as communities transition from rural to more urban societies, the number of people effected by asthma increases. The odds of reduced rates of hospitalization and death from asthmas has decreased for children and young adults in urbanized municipalities in Brazil. This finding indicates that urbanization may have a negative impact on population health particularly affecting people’s susceptibility to asthma.
In low and middle income countries many factors contribute to the high numbers of people with asthma. Similar to areas in the United States with increasing urbanization, people living in growing cities in low income countries experience high exposure to air pollution, which increases the prevalence and severity of asthma among these populations. Links have been found between exposure to traffic-related air pollution and allergic diseases. Children living in poor, urban areas in the United States now have an increased risk of morbidity due to asthma in comparison to other low-income children in the United States. In addition, children with croup living in urban areas have higher hazard ratios for asthma than similar children living in rural areas. Researchers suggest that this difference in hazard ratios is due to the higher levels of air pollution and exposure to environmental allergens found in urban areas.
Exposure to elevated levels of ambient air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5), can cause DNA methylation of CpG sites in immune cells, which increases children’s risk of developing asthma. Studies have shown a positive correlation between Foxp3 methylation and children’s exposure to NO2, CO, and PM2.5. Furthermore, any amount of exposure to high levels of air pollution have shown long term effects on the Foxp3 region.
Despite the increase in access to health services that usually accompanies urbanization, the rise in population density negatively affects air quality ultimately mitigating the positive value of health resources as more children and young adults develop asthma due to high pollution rates. However, urban planning as well as emission control can lessen the effects of traffic-related air pollution on allergic diseases such as asthma.
Historically crime and urbanization have gone hand in hand. The simplest explanation is that areas with a higher population density are surrounded by a greater availability of goods. Committing crimes in urbanized areas is also more feasible. Modernization has led to more crime as well. There is a greater awareness of the income gap between the rich and poor due to modern media. This leads to feelings of deprivation which can lead to crime. In some regions where urbanization happens in wealthier areas, a rise in property crime and a decrease in violent crime is seen.
Data shows that there is an increase of crime in urbanized areas. Some factors include per capita income, income inequality, and overall population size. There is also a smaller association between unemployment rate, police expenditures and crime. The presence of crime also has the ability to produce more crime. These areas have less social cohesion, and therefore less social control. This is evident in the geographical regions that crime occurs in. As most crime tends to cluster in city centers, the further the distance from the center of the city, the lower the occurrence of crimes are.
Migration is also a factor that can increase crime in urbanized areas. People from one area are displaced and forced to move into an urbanized society. Here they are in a new environment with new norms and social values. This can lead to less social cohesion and more crime.
Although urbanization tends to produce more negative effects, one positive effect that urbanization has impacted is an increase in physical activity in comparison to rural areas. Residents of rural areas and communities in the United States have higher rates of obesity and engage in less physical activity than urban residents. Rural residents consume a higher percent of fat calories and are less likely to meet the guidelines for physical activity and more likely to be physically inactive. In comparison to regions within the United States, the west has the lowest prevalence of physical inactivity and the south has the highest prevalence of physical inactivity. Metropolitan and large urban areas across all regions have the highest prevalence of physical activity among residents.
Barriers such as geographic isolation, busy and unsafe roads, and social stigmas lead to decreased physical activity in rural environments. Faster speed limits on rural roads prohibits the ability to have bike lanes, sidewalks, footpaths, and shoulders along the side of the roads. Less developed open spaces in rural areas, like parks and trails, suggest that there is lower walkability in these areas in comparison to urban areas. Many residents in rural settings have to travel long distances to utilize exercise facilities, taking up too much time in the day and deterring residents from using recreational facilities to obtain physical activity. Additionally, residents of rural communities are traveling further for work, decreasing the amount of time that can be spent on leisure physical activity and significantly decreases the opportunity to partake in active transportation to work.
Neighborhoods and communities with nearby fitness venues, a common feature of urbanization, have residents that partake in increased amounts of physical activity. Communities with sidewalks, street lights, and traffic signals have residents participating in more physical activity than communities without those features. Having a variety of destinations close to where people live, increases the use of active transportation, such as walking and biking. Active transportation is also enhanced in urban communities where there is easy access to public transportation due to residents walking or biking to transportation stops.
In a study comparing different regions in the United States, opinions across all areas were shared that environmental characteristics like access to sidewalks, safe roads, recreational facilities, and enjoyable scenery are positively associated with participation in leisure physical activity. Perceiving that resources are nearby for physical activity increases the likelihood that residents of all communities will meet the guidelines and recommendations for appropriate physical activity. Specific to rural residents, safety of outdoor developed spaces and convenient availability to recreational facilities matters most when making decisions on increasing physical activity. In order to combat the levels of inactivity in rural residents, more convenient recreational features, such as the ones discussed in this paragraph, need to be implemented into rural communities and societies.
Urbanization factors that contribute to mental health can be thought of as factors that affect the individual and factors that affect the larger social group. At the macro, social group level, changes related to urbanization are thought to contribute to social disintegration and disorganization. These macro factors contribute to social disparities which affect individuals by creating perceived insecurity. Perceived insecurity can be due problems with the physical environment, such as issues with personal safety, or problems with the social environment, such as a loss of positive self-concepts from negative events. Increased stress is a common individual psychological stressor that accompanies urbanization and is thought to be due to perceived insecurity. Changes in social organization, a consequence of urbanization, are thought to lead to reduced social support, increased violence, and overcrowding. It is these factors that are thought to contribute to increased stress. It is important to note that urbanization or population density alone does not cause mental health problems. It is the combination of urbanization with physical and social risk factors that contribute to mental health problems. As cities continue to expand it is important to consider and account for mental health along with other public health measures that accompany urbanization.
Different forms of urbanization can be classified depending on the style of architecture and planning methods as well as historic growth of areas.
In cities of the developed world urbanization traditionally exhibited a concentration of human activities and settlements around the downtown area, the so-called in-migration. In-migration refers to migration from former colonies and similar places. The fact that many immigrants settle in impoverished city centres led to the notion of the "peripheralization of the core", which simply describes that people who used to be at the periphery of the former empires now live right in the centre.
Recent developments, such as inner-city redevelopment schemes, mean that new arrivals in cities no longer necessarily settle in the centre. In some developed regions, the reverse effect, originally called counter urbanization has occurred, with cities losing population to rural areas, and is particularly common for richer families. This has been possible because of improved communications, and has been caused by factors such as the fear of crime and poor urban environments. It has contributed to the phenomenon of shrinking cities experienced by some parts of the industrialized world.
When the residential area shifts outward, this is called suburbanization. A number of researchers and writers suggest that suburbanization has gone so far to form new points of concentration outside the downtown both in developed and developing countries such as India. This networked, poly-centric form of concentration is considered by some emerging pattern of urbanization. It is called variously exurbia, edge city (Garreau, 1991), network city (Batten, 1995), or postmodern city (Dear, 2000). Los Angeles is the best-known example of this type of urbanization. In the United States, this process has reversed as of 2011, with "re-urbanization" occurring as suburban flight due to chronically high transport costs.
Rural migrants are attracted by the possibilities that cities can offer, but often settle in shanty towns and experience extreme poverty. The inability of countries to provide adequate housing for these rural migrants is related to overurbanization, a phenomenon in which the rate of urbanization grows more rapidly than the rate of economic development, leading to high unemployment and high demand for resources. In the 1980s, this was attempted to be tackled with the urban bias theory which was promoted by Michael Lipton.
Most of the urban poor in developing countries unable to find work, can spend their lives in insecure, poorly paid jobs. According to research by the Overseas Development Institute pro-poor urbanization will require labour-intensive growth, supported by labour protection, flexible land use regulation and investments in basic services.'
Urbanization can be planned urbanization or organic. Planned urbanization, i.e.: planned community or the garden city movement, is based on an advance plan, which can be prepared for military, aesthetic, economic or urban design reasons. Examples can be seen in many ancient cities; although with exploration came the collision of nations, which meant that many invaded cities took on the desired planned characteristics of their occupiers. Many ancient organic cities experienced redevelopment for military and economic purposes, new roads carved through the cities, and new parcels of land were cordoned off serving various planned purposes giving cities distinctive geometric designs. UN agencies prefer to see urban infrastructure installed before urbanization occurs. Landscape planners are responsible for landscape infrastructure (public parks, sustainable urban drainage systems, greenways etc.) which can be planned before urbanization takes place, or afterward to revitalize an area and create greater livability within a region. Concepts of control of the urban expansion are considered in the American Institute of Planners.
As population continues to grow and urbanize at unprecedented rates, new urbanism and smart growth techniques are implemented to create a transition into developing environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable cities. Smart Growth and New Urbanism’s principles include walkability, mixed-use development, comfortable high-density design, land conservation, social equity, and economic diversity. Mixed-use communities work to fight gentrification with affordable housing to promote social equity, decrease automobile dependency to lower use of fossil fuels, and promote a localized economy. Walkable communities have a 38% higher average GDP per capita than less walkable urban metros (Leinberger, Lynch). By combining economic, environmental, and social sustainability, cities will become equitable, resilient, and more appealing than urban sprawl that overuses land, promotes automobile use, and segregates the population economically.
The process whereby a society changes from a rural to an urban way of life. It refers also to the gradual increase in the proportion of people living in urban areas.
A city is a large human settlement. Cities generally have extensive systems for housing, transportation, sanitation, utilities, land use, and communication. Their density facilitates interaction between people, government organizations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process.
Historically, city-dwellers have been a small proportion of humanity overall, but following two centuries of unprecedented and rapid urbanization, roughly half of the world population now lives in cities, which has had profound consequences for global sustainability. Present-day cities usually form the core of larger metropolitan areas and urban areas—creating numerous commuters traveling towards city centers for employment, entertainment, and edification. However, in a world of intensifying globalization, all cities are in different degree also connected globally beyond these regions.
The most populated city proper is Chongqing while the most populous metropolitan areas are the Greater Tokyo Area, the Shanghai area, and Jabodetabek (Jakarta). The cities of Faiyum, Damascus, and Varanasi are among those laying claim to longest continual inhabitation.Commuter town
A commuter town is a populated area with residents who normally work elsewhere, but in which they live, eat and sleep. The term additionally implies a community that has little commercial or industrial activity beyond a small amount of locally oriented retail business.
A commuter town may be called by many other terms: "exurb" (short for "extra-urban"), "bedroom community" (Canada and northeastern US), "bedroom town", "bedroom suburb" (US), "dormitory town", "dormitory suburb", or, less commonly, "dormitory village" (Britain/Commonwealth/Ireland). In Japan, a commuter town may be referred to with the wasei-eigo coinage "bed town" (ベッドタウン, beddotaun).Demographics of American Samoa
This article is about the demographic features of the population of American Samoa, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.Demographics of Mongolia
This article is about the demographics of Mongolia, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.Great Migration (African American)
The Great Migration, sometimes known as the Great Northward Migration, or the Black Migration, was the movement of six million African Americans out of the rural Southern United States to the urban Northeast, Midwest, and West that occurred between 1916 and 1970. In every U.S. Census prior to 1910, more than 90 percent of the African-American population lived in the American South. In 1900, only one-fifth of African Americans living in the South were living in urban areas. By the end of the Great Migration, just over 50 percent of the African-American population remained in the South, while a little less than 50 percent lived in the North and West, and the African-American population had become highly urbanized. By 1960, of those African Americans still living in the South, half now lived in urban areas, and by 1970, more than 80 percent of African Americans nationwide lived in cities. In 1991, Nicholas Lemann wrote that:
The Great Migration was one of the largest and most rapid mass internal movements in history—perhaps the greatest not caused by the immediate threat of execution or starvation. In sheer numbers it outranks the migration of any other ethnic group—Italians or Irish or Jews or Poles—to [the United States]. For blacks, the migration meant leaving what had always been their economic and social base in America, and finding a new one.
Some historians differentiate between a first Great Migration (1916–1940), which saw about 1.6 million people move from mostly rural areas in the south to northern industrial cities, and a Second Great Migration (1940–1970), which began after the Great Depression and brought at least 5 million people—including many townspeople with urban skills—to the north and west.Since the Civil Rights Movement, a less rapid reverse migration has occurred. Dubbed the New Great Migration, it has seen a gradual increase of African American migration to the South, generally to states and cities where economic opportunities are the best. The reasons include economic difficulties of cities in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States, growth of jobs in the "New South" and its lower cost of living, family and kinship ties, and improved racial relations. As early as 1975 to 1980, several southern states were net African-American migration gainers, while in 2014, African-American millennials moved in the highest numbers to Texas, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and California. African-American populations have continued to drop throughout much of the Northeast, especially from the state of New York and northern New Jersey, as they rise in the South.Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning (Turkey)
The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning (Turkish: Çevre ve Şehircilik Bakanlığı) is a government ministry office of the Republic of Turkey, responsible for the environment, public works, and urban planning in Turkey. The ministry is headed by Mehmet Özhaseki.Noise pollution
Noise pollution, also known as environmental noise or sound pollution, is the propagation of noise with harmful impact on the activity of human or animal life. The source of outdoor noise worldwide is mainly caused by machines, transport and propagation systems. Poor urban planning may give rise to noise pollution, side-by-side industrial and residential buildings can result in noise pollution in the residential areas. Some of the main sources of noise in residential areas include loud music, transportation noise, lawn care maintenance, nearby construction, or young people yelling (sports games). Noise pollution associated with household electricity generators is an emerging environmental degradation in many developing nations. The average noise level of 97.60 dB obtained exceeded the WHO value of 50 dB allowed for residential areas. Research suggests that noise pollution is the highest in low-income and racial minority neighborhoods. Documented problems associated with urban environment noise go back as far as ancient Rome.High noise levels can contribute to cardiovascular effects in humans and an increased incidence of coronary artery disease. In animals, noise can increase the risk of death by altering predator or prey detection and avoidance, interfere with reproduction and navigation, and contribute to permanent hearing loss. While the elderly may have cardiac problems due to noise, according to the World Health Organization, children are especially vulnerable to noise, and the effects that noise has on children may be permanent. Noise poses a serious threat to a child’s physical and psychological health, and may negatively interfere with a child's learning and behavior.Peri-urbanisation
Peri-urbanisation relates to those processes of dispersive urban growth that creates hybrid landscapes of fragmented urban and rural characteristics.Rural development
Rural development is the process of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people living in rural areas, often relatively isolated and sparsely populated areas.Rural development has traditionally centered on the exploitation of land-intensive natural resources such as agriculture and forestry. However, changes in global production networks and increased urbanization have changed the character of rural areas. Increasingly tourism, niche manufacturers, and recreation have replaced resource extraction and agriculture as dominant economic drivers. The need for rural communities to approach development from a wider perspective has created more focus on a broad range of development goals rather than merely creating incentive for agricultural or resource based businesses. Education, entrepreneurship, physical infrastructure, and social infrastructure all play an important role in developing rural regions. Rural development is also characterized by its emphasis on locally produced economic development strategies. In contrast to urban regions, which have many similarities, rural areas are highly distinctive from one another. For this reason there are a large variety of rural development approaches used globally.Rural development is a comprehensive term. It essentially focuses on action for the development of areas outside the mainstream urban economic system. we should think of what type of rural development is needed because modernization of village leads to urbanization and village environment disappears.Slum
A slum is a highly populated urban residential area consisting mostly of closely packed, decrepit housing units in a situation of deteriorated or incomplete infrastructure, inhabited primarily by impoverished persons. While slums differ in size and other characteristics, most lack reliable sanitation services, supply of clean water, reliable electricity, law enforcement and other basic services. Slum residences vary from shanty houses to professionally built dwellings which, because of poor-quality construction or provision of basic maintenance, have deteriorated.Due to increasing urbanization of the general populace, slums became common in the 18th to late 20th centuries in the United States and Europe. Slums are still predominantly found in urban regions of developing countries, but are also still found in developed economies.According to UN-Habitat, around 33% of the urban population in the developing world in 2012, or about 863 million people, lived in slums. The proportion of urban population living in slums in 2012 was highest in Sub-Saharan Africa (62%), followed by Southern Asia (35%), Southeastern Asia (31%), Eastern Asia (28%), Western Asia (25%), Oceania (24%), Latin America and the Caribbean (24%), and North Africa (13%). Among individual countries, the proportion of urban residents living in slum areas in 2009 was highest in the Central African Republic (95.9%). Between 1990 and 2010 the percentage of people living in slums dropped, even as the total urban population increased. The world's largest slum city is found in the Neza-Chalco-Ixtapaluca area, located in the State of Mexico.Slums form and grow in different parts of the world for many different reasons. Causes include rapid rural-to-urban migration, economic stagnation and depression, high unemployment, poverty, informal economy, forced or manipulated ghettoization, poor planning, politics, natural disasters and social conflicts. Strategies tried to reduce and transform slums in different countries, with varying degrees of success, include a combination of slum removal, slum relocation, slum upgrading, urban planning with citywide infrastructure development, and public housing.South-Central Colorado
South-Central Colorado is a region of the U.S. state of Colorado. It can be roughly defined by Chaffee County in the northwest, El Paso County in the northeast, Las Animas County in the southeast, and Conejos County in the southwest. Some notable towns and cities there include Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Cripple Creek, Cañon City, Salida, Buena Vista, Monte Vista, Alamosa, Walsenburg, and Trinidad. The landscapes of South-Central Colorado were made known to the Western world by the explorations of Zebulon Pike and Kit Carson, who were later followed by settlers, many of whom came by the Santa Fe Trail. The upper tributaries of the Arkansas River and South Platte River provide ample whitewater rafting and are famous for trout and bass fishing in scenic settings such as Royal Gorge. Much of the local economic system is dependent on mining, forestry, ranching, and tourism related to these endeavors. South-Central Colorado has so far largely escaped urbanization, allowing visitors to experience something of the American Old West.Suburbanization
Suburbanization is a population shift from central urban areas into suburbs, resulting in the formation of (sub)urban sprawl. Sub-urbanization is inversely related to urbanization, which denotes a population shift from rural areas into urban centres.
Many residents of metropolitan regions work within the central urban area, and choose to live in satellite communities called suburbs and commute to work via automobile or mass transit. Others have taken advantage of technological advances to work from their homes. These processes often occur in more economically developed countries, especially in the United States, which is believed to be the first country in which the majority of the population lives in the suburbs, rather than in the cities or in rural areas. Proponents of containing urban sprawl argue that sprawl leads to urban decay and a concentration of lower income residents in the inner city.Urban ecology
Urban ecology is the scientific study of the relation of living organisms with each other and their surroundings in the context of an urban environment. The urban environment refers to environments dominated by high-density residential and commercial buildings, paved surfaces, and other urban-related factors that create a unique landscape dissimilar to most previously studied environments in the field of ecology.Urban ecology is a recent field of study compared to ecology as a whole. The methods and studies of urban ecology are similar to and comprise a subset of ecology. The study of urban ecology carries increasing importance because more than 50% of the world's population today lives in urban areas. At the same time, it is estimated that within the next forty years, two-thirds of the world's population will be living in expanding urban centers. The ecological processes in the urban environment are comparable to those outside the urban context. However, the types of urban habitats and the species that inhabit them are poorly documented. Often, explanations for phenomena examined in the urban setting as well as predicting changes because of urbanization are the center for scientific research.Urban runoff
Urban runoff is surface runoff of rainwater created by urbanization. This runoff is a major source of flooding and water pollution in urban communities worldwide.
Impervious surfaces (roads, parking lots and sidewalks) are constructed during land development. During rain storms and other precipitation events, these surfaces (built from materials such as asphalt and concrete), along with rooftops, carry polluted stormwater to storm drains, instead of allowing the water to percolate through soil. This causes lowering of the water table (because groundwater recharge is lessened) and flooding since the amount of water that remains on the surface is greater. Most municipal storm sewer systems discharge stormwater, untreated, to streams, rivers and bays. This excess water can also make its way into people's properties through basement backups and seepage through building wall and floors.Urbanisation in India
Urbanization in India began to accelerate after, due to the country's adoption of a mixed economy, which gave rise to the development of the private sector. Urbanisation is taking place at a faster rate in India. Population residing in urban areas in India, according to 1901 census, was 11.4%. This count increased to 28.53% according to 2001 census, and crossing 30% as per 2011 census, standing at 31.16%. In 2017, the numbers increased to 34%, according to The World Bank. According to a survey by UN State of the World Population report in 2007, by 2030, 40.76% of country's population is expected to reside in urban areas. As per World Bank, India, along with China, Indonesia, Nigeria, and the United States, will lead the world's urban population surge by 2050.Mumbai saw large scale rural-urban migration in the 20th century.[see main] Mumbai, in 2018, accommodates 22.1 million people, and is the largest metropolis by population in India, followed by Delhi with 28 million inhabitants. Witnessing the fastest rate of urbanisation in the world, as per 2011 census, Delhi's population rises by 4.1%, Mumbai's by 3.1% and Kolkata's by 2% as per 2011 census compared to 2001 census.Urbanisation in Pakistan
Urbanization in Pakistan has increased since the time of independence and has several different causes. The majority of southern Pakistan's population lives along the Indus River. Karachi is its most populous city. In the northern half of the country, most of the population lives in an arc formed by the cities of Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Jhelum, Sargodha, Sheikhupura, Nowshera, Mardan and Peshawar. During 1990–2008, city dwellers made up 36% of Pakistan's population, making it the most urbanised nation in South Asia. Furthermore, 50% of Pakistanis live in towns of 5,000 people or more.Urbanization by country
This is a list of countries by urbanization.Urbanization in Africa
The urbanization of most of Africa is moving fast forward, especially south of the Sahara. It is estimated that in 1900, about 89% of inhabitants lived from the primary occupations of farming, hunting & gathering, cattle nomadism, and fishing (Aase, 2003:1) meaning that 11% or less were urban. At the start of the independence period in 1957, 14.7% of Africa's inhabitants were urban, in 2000 had it risen to 37.2% and it is expected to rise to 49.3% in 2015, in effect 3.76% to 3.35% per year (UN, 2002). In sub-Saharan Africa in 1960 "only one city, Johannesburg, had a population of one million;...in 2009, there were fifty-two cities with such large populations." The Nigerian city of Lagos that in 1963 had 665,000 inhabitants (Rakodi, 1997) and 8.7 million in 2000 is expected to become the worlds 11th biggest city by 2015 with 16 million inhabitants (UN, 2002).Urbanization in China
Urbanization in China increased in speed following the initiation of the reform and opening policy. By the end of 2017, 58.52% of the total population lived in urban areas, a dramatic increase from 17.92% in 1978.By 2010, the OECD, based on Functional Urban Area (FUA), estimates there are currently 15 megacities in China.