4 Facts About the Impact of Rampant Urbanization

4 Facts About the Impact of Rampant Urbanization

If you live in a medium to large city, no matter the country, you have most likely noticed that the world is rather crowded, right? New buildings are popping up where houses used to be, people are moving to the city, and there are so many cars and not enough parking spots that finding where to place your car is getting increasingly difficult, even where you live, not to mention around a city center. Urbanization is taking place wherever we look. Here is what you need to know about urbanization, facts which might open your eyes.

People Are Living in Insecure Housing

With so many people moving to larger cities, there are increased apartments and rooms being rented. What does that mean for the citizen? It is an insecure way of living. You have to have enough money, much more than you would if you had your own place, and you might even end up not having a roof over your head, if the owner decides to stop renting you the apartment. People who spend money on rent often cannot get any financial credit or even access different jobs. Some cities have a steep entry fee for rent. Formal rental contracts are a rarity, especially in a world where everyone wants to cut down on costs.

There is an Increasing Number of People Without Basic Sanitation in Urban Areas

Yes, it is increasing. In 2000, there were around 550 million people without basic sanitation in urban areas. Fast forward 15 years, and you have a hundred million people more without basic sanitation. Isn’t urbanization supposed to plan and account for such a basic thing like sanitation? It is, but in reality, that isn’t the case. This is an essential part of life and living without it in a city can be terrifying, so much that people would rather move to rural areas, if water and sanitation were present.

An Increase of Motorized Vehicles Leads to More Road Fatalities

More and more cars, right? Well, yes, and that is both a good and bad thing. People driving to their desired destinations is a very nice thing, comfortable and independent. Except that you are dependant, on the state of the traffic, poor roads, terrible speed limits, even car crashes. There is an estimated 1.25 million death toll in vehicle accidents, with over 50 million injuries every year. That can be solved by building better roads and pavements, but is a complex political problem which every country needs to address on its own. Slow roads don’t win political campaigns, unfortunately.

Increasingly Poor Air Quality in Cities is Concerning

If you look up aqicn.org you can check the quality of the air of your city. Most cities have poor air quality due to multiple reasons, one of which is increased traffic. The other reason is that people, especially in countries which are not as rich, often use fossil fuels to keep warm during the cold months. Poor air quality leads to more diseases, respiratory and otherwise and it is just difficult in winter. Some people can’t even open their windows during non-windy days. Switching to a central heating option, where the entire city is heated by a single plant would be the best, even with using fossil fuels. 

Urbanization is happening all over the world and it is scary. There are plenty of facts, most of which are bad, regarding urbanization. To solve this, the world needs to pull together, starting from local governments in problematic cities, to country-wide governments, to the entire world. With enough time and lots of effort and honesty, the problems might go away.