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Page history last edited by catrin treanor 4 years, 9 months ago



The world has reached the point where 50% of the human population is found in urban areas.

The projection is that in 50 years' time, two-thirds of us will live in cities - does it matter?


World Urbanisation Report - UN

BBC Interactive


Urbanisation is the "proportion of people living in built environments such as towns and cities".


The information below will also help you to answer these questions on urbanisation


Why does it happen? - Migration and Natural Increase...


RURAL to URBAN migration   is the movement of people from countryside to city areas.

This type of migration happened in more developed countries  from the 18th Century onwards on a large scale, due to the Industrial Revolution  (SEE S+K p 135 for detail) and has gradually slowed down.  In some countries the movement of people has reversed, and people are moving from cities back into the countryside as they search for a better life. 


Developing world cities  are experiencing massive rural to urban migration. The major reasons for this movement can be classified into PUSH AND PULL FACTORS.


Natural Increase also has a major effect on rates of urbanisation.  In poorer parts of the world death rates tend to fall more quickly than birth rates. This is because in a city there is better access to doctors and hospitals and improved infrastructure which means that sanitation and water supply is better. As people gain employment there might also be improved food supply. Birth rates take longer to fall also, it is often young people of reproductive age that move to the cities. In addition to this it isn't just death rates that fall but infant mortality too - so more babies survive. It is this combination of factors that helps to make the rate of urbanisation so high.




The Largest Cities in the World



1. WATCH THIS from the BBC... and just look at China  - BBC article on China's Megacities here


2. Where are the largest cities in the world?  Find the answers to this question, and more from the United Nations - use ArcGIS to locate them too - you can extend this by also plotting data for 1950 and compare the changes. Here is an ArcGIS map I have done to help!




3.  Megacities - some background reading and questions to answer:



use this too  http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jul/10/urban-population-growth-africa-asia-united-nations  

a. What is a Megacity?

b. How many are there now?

c. How is this set to change in the future?

d. What issues do the growth of megacities raise? 

e. Explain why megacities can be a force for good. 

See the UN's World Cities 2016 Report - in chapter 4 it  states... "Urban history shows us that cities are the sites of innovation. They are the places where new economic ideas crystallize, where heterogeneous groupings of people learn to co-exist as neighbours, and where democratic experiments emerge to make way for previously excluded social groups to be included as genuine decision-makers. The high density of people in cities facilitates economic growth through better sharing, matching and learning"


Megacities - a report on the challenges they bring and their future (a lot to read here - just browse!)








Millenium Development Goals - being reached? 

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