Does the urbanisation is more positive potential or negative potential

Rapid urbanization is a problem that confronts the modern world. In the past, it used to be an indication of progress and development. Today, however, because of unmanageable population sizes , uncontrollable consumption habits, as well as the alarming depletion of our resources, rapid urbanization now comes with multiple costs that governments can no longer choose to ignore. This essays looks into two particular costs of urbanization. The first is on access to resources and the environment. The second is the social cost, i. e., the increase in rural poverty because of uncontrolled rural to urban migration. In the end, however, I argue that these are issues that can be addressed through efficient governance, sound urban planning and policies on sustainable resource use.
Nelson (2006: 2) challenges the conventional assumption that rapid urbanization is indicative of progress. He cites the case of Africa as evidence that urbanization cannot be linked to development. This is because urbanization in Africa was the result of inequitable allocation of state resources, which were in turn driven by global market processes. As a consequence of this, the rural areas suffered deeply. Rural poverty and rural hunger had spiked up. (Nelson, 2006: 3). To quote Nelson, “ Resources directed toward agriculture have been very small and of these most have been directed toward large-scale farming of export crops such as tobacco, not only causing environmental damage but also food shortages and impoverishment of small farmers. (Nelson: 3)” But these have long term consequences too. Because the rural areas are the suppliers of food for the entire country, impoverishing the rural areas diminishes capacity to produce food and ultimately lead to food prices going up. Although this is true, there is also validity in the assertion that urbanization has many positive possibilities as well. According to Hammond (2007: 2), “ if cities create environmental problems, the also contain the solutions.” Indeed, countries that have attained economic development have done so under a model that invariably included urbanization. One of the clear effects of urbanization is the increase in wealth, and this will ultimately lead to benefits that will affect the rural areas as well.
The second aspect is the social costs. Nelson talks about how rural to urban migration has “ transferred poverty to the cities”. (Nelson, 2006: 3) This has led to urban areas bursting at the seams, unable to manage the volume of people coming to find jobs, shelter, and resources. This places a toll on the government, who cannot provide social services for a huge volume of people. Infrastructure likewise breaks down (Nelson, 2006: 3), causing severe public health and public safety issues. One only has to look at the shanties in the developing world to understand this notion. Entire families live in matchbox houses, under subhuman conditions. People come to the cities looking for jobs and finding none, thus creating scores of people seeking welfare. However, Hammond says that there may be more good than bad. Cities, according to him, offer infrastructure, education and health care at lower prices (Hammond, 2007: 5). Also, and this is a crucial point, in urban areas, people are less likely to have babies than in rural areas (Hammond, 2007: 5) thus keeping population levels manageable.
In conclusion, we must ask: what then is the solution? Nelson calls for stimulating rural development (Nelson, 2006: 6) and channel resources to improve agricultural development. However, Hammond argues that policymakers must “ reconsider their bias against urban growth” and focus on developing infrastructure and coming up with efficient urban planning. It is clear that no sustainable interventions are possible without taking into account both the need to ensure sufficient agricultural production and the importance of developing urban areas. However, economic development for all must be the moving force for all policy actions. There is persuasive evidence that urbanization is still the way to go.