The Challenges of Rapid Urbanization globally.
Countries globally are battling rapid growth in urbanization. There is an increasing influx of people moving away from the rural areas into the cities searching for opportunities. This means that the resources in the cities are getting strained every day.
Inadequate infrastructure is the number one thing on the list in regards to the high population densities that get created by rural-urban migration. Where sewer lines were created to serve a limited number of people, they are now serving three times as much especially for developing economies.
In other instances, there is an increasing need to expand road networks and innovate flexible mobility options due to an ever-increasing number of vehicles on urban roads. Jam wastes a lot of time for many of us hence reducing our productivity.
Over the weekend, a friend left his house in time for the 12-minute drive to his destination. It was only after about an hour that he arrived. The reason? Jam. This is something that becomes a headache to many of us and poised to anger us the more as more people continue coming into the cities and the number of vehicles increases to meet the demand for mobility.
Inadequate housing is another big issue with the rising urbanization. Mumbai, initially known as Bombay, has a population of 20 million people. That is almost half of the Kenyan population living in one city alone.
One of the greatest challenges facing the city is adequate housing. Imagine for a moment the city of Chongqing in China with a population of 30 million people in an area of 82,300 square kilometers as well. Also, remember that the population is still rising.
How do you ensure that these more people moving into the city are properly housed? This strain has pushed engineers and architects to look vertical since laterally, we are at a time where some cities can be described as full.
Skyscrapers are the solution today. Yet we can’t all agree that they are the best solution as more people are being forced into small locations or cages so to say like chicken. This development is increasing social issues and staining people mentally and physically because congestion is never a thing any of us would gladly smile for.
Rapid urbanization means that job opportunities are getting limited each day and those without employment turn to crime and prostitution. People are trying to survive by all means and being pushed to the edge hampers people’s judgment hence the reason for the increasing number of social ills.
The sad reality is that as many people move from the rural areas projecting to make it big in the cities, to some of these people, it only means plunging deeper into poverty. The rising cost of living is pushing low-wage people in cities into poverty even more. What once looked like solace ends up becoming some sort of deathtrap today.
The other big issue is pollution. If there is any time in the history of this earth that pollution poses the greatest threat to cities, it is today. Increasing populations bring about an increasing demand for items from basic needs to specialty consumer items.
To meet this demand, organizations are pushed to stretch their production capabilities and expand even more which in turn means increased carbon emission from industries and overexploitation of natural resources which exposes the earth and the people in it to its effect.
Carbon emissions from carbon fuels are pushing countries to adopt green energy options. Although the potential is huge with these options, the high population growth means that those who cannot afford the expensive cleaner alternatives continue to use fossil fuels.
These unfortunate developments call all of us into action. We need to put our efforts together to ensure that sustainable urbanization takes precedence in our planning. Not just that, but sustainable production and consumption as well that take into consideration reduced environmental impacts.