ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cities and Characteristics of Modern Urbanization

Updated on December 18, 2016
KsenijaZ profile image

Graduated in Geography with a major in Environmental Protection. In love with sustainability, ecology, geology and nature.

Introduction

In the year 2008, the world reached invisible but important milestone: for the first time in the history of mankind in urban areas lived more than half the world's population - 3.3 billion people. In cities of the world currently (the year 2016) lives 4 billion people or 54.5% of world's population. It is expected that by the year 2030 this number will rise to almost 5 billion people. By the year 2045, the number will increase to 6 billion. The world is reliably becoming more and more urban; people migrate to cities in search of employment, educational opportunities and higher living standards.

Busy city people, London
Busy city people, London | Source

The definition of the city and urbanity

When we study cities the question of the definition of the city and urbanity arises. Settlements are usually divided into two major groups: cities (urban areas) and rural settlements. Between these two it is often a blurred dividing line. For the definition of urbanity, it is necessary to define the basic characteristics of cities, which differ from rural settlements; the concept of urban is usually associated with larger, more densely populated and predominantly non-agrarian settlements. Generally, valid criteria for identifying cities that would be useful for the entire global settlements, do not exist because there are significant differences between different parts of the world in a way, density and spatial distribution of settlements, and the settlements were also developed in different circumstances.

City people walking
City people walking | Source

The characteristics of cities

Cities have great importance for humanity. There is located a large part of the economic potentials and production, they are centers of the exchange of goods, services an information, centers of power and decision-making. Rural areas are also under the strong influence of cities, whereas urban lifestyle has become the dominant pattern of social relations. Gradually, due to the spatial expansion of cities and urban areas and the simultaneous transformation of rural areas under the influence of cities, the distinctions between rural and urban are blurring.

New York
New York | Source

Cities are dynamic and have a range of characteristics that have different impacts on creating a desirable quality of life and living. From the perspective of ecological systems, the city can be compared to the ecosystem, in fact, to the non-comprehensive ecosystem, since their operation is dependent on external support, the inputs and outputs of their surroundings. Urban environments are complex, composed of natural, built and social components. The modern city is characterized by an increasingly diversified urban metabolism, large material dependence on non-urban ecosystems and high-level of exchanges with suburban environments. The urban environment can also be considered as a heavily modified natural ecosystem. Cities are energetically and materially living at the expenses of their surroundings, in most cases they ecologically deplete rural areas and are becoming major consumers of goods and environmental services of the planet and as such, they are a key source of burdens on the global ecosystem.

Tokyo, Japan, the largest city in the world
Tokyo, Japan, the largest city in the world | Source

Cities are, therefore, as the home of the half of the world's population, more and more in the foreground of our most urgent environmental challenges. As extensive areas of high concentration of the population, a variety of activities and interests, they represent the open material - energy and spatial ecosystem that is increasingly negatively spreading and carving into the natural environment.

Jakarta, Indonesia
Jakarta, Indonesia | Source

Do you live in the city?

See results

The number of urban population

In developed countries, the number of the urban population is estimated to almost three-quarters of the total population and will continue to rise by less than half a percent per year to the year 2030 and the rural population will decrease in number. On the other hand, cities in developing countries represent around 95% of the world's expected population growth in the next two decades, as a result of migration from rural to urban areas, the transformation of rural settlements into urban areas and the natural increase of the population. In the developing countries, the world population will increase by more than 1.5 billion till the year 2030, most of them will be poor. Already, one out of three urban city residents lives in poor conditions or slums.

The Mathare Valley slum, Nairobi, Kenya
The Mathare Valley slum, Nairobi, Kenya | Source

At the global level, these demographic changes specify important urban transition. By the year 2030, 5 billion people (60% of the global population) will live in urban areas and four-fifths of the urban population will be located in developing countries. 'Megacities' - those with more than 10 million people - will continue to grow in size and number, especially in the developing world, although slowly. The most rapid growth will occur in cities with less than half a million inhabitants, which together comprise more than half of the world's urban population.

Slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh | Source

Growth of urban population

The growth of urban population in the world is a combination of natural growth of the urban population and migration of rural population to the cities. According to United Nations estimates the total number of urban population in the world increased from 738 million in 1950 to 2900 million in 2000. After 1950, the proportion of the urban population in less developed countries was sharply increased, in the year 2000 it reached two billion people and in the developed countries only 900 million. The main features of modern urbanization and major urbanization trends in the world are as follows:

  • in the period 2000 - 2030 an annual increase of urban population will be 1.8% and the total population growth 1%. In developing countries will be higher, there the main factors for the growth of the urban population will be the rural - urban migration and transformation of rural settlements into urban
  • there are significant differences in the course of urbanization between different parts of the world . Africa and Asia had in the year 2000 the lowest level of urbanization (40%) but will have the fastest growth rate of urban population in the coming decades. Most of the urban population in the year 2030 will live in Asia, about 54% of the world's urban population. Among developing countries stands Latin America (75% of the urban population, by the year 2030 it will increase to 84%). In Europe, North America, Australia and Oceania, the share of the urban population will exceed 80%, but the total number of urban population will increase only by about 200 million.

Shanghai
Shanghai | Source

The global population is, therefore, becoming more and more concentrated in urban areas. Nowadays urbanization trends are becoming irreversible and are achieving the greater speed. Thus, environmental pressures, resulting from the growing number of urban population are increasingly growing.

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil | Source

Largest built-up urban areas in the world in 2016

Country
Urban area
Population estimate
Japan
Tokyo - Yokohama
37.750.000
Indonesia
Jakarta
31.320.000
India
Delhi
25.735.000
South Korea
Seoul-Incheon
23.575.000
Philippines
Manila
22.930.000
India
Mumbai
22.885.000
Pakistan
Karachi
22.825.000
China
Shanghai
22.685.000
United States
New York
20.685.000
Brazil
Sao Paulo
20.605.000
Demographia, World Urban Ares, 12th Annual Edition

Urbanization and the growth of global cities

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)