Urbanization, urbanisation (see spelling differences) or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of rural migration and even suburban concentration into cities, particularly the very largest ones. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008. Urbanization is closely linked to modernisation, industrialisation, and the sociologicalprocess of rationalisation. Urbanisation can describe a specific condition at a set time, i.e. the proportion of total population or area in cities or towns, or the term can describe the increase of this proportion over time. So the term urbanisation can represent the level of urban relative to overall population, or it can represent the rate at which the urban proportion is increasing. Urbanisation is not merely a modern phenomenon, but a rapid and historic transformation of human social roots on a global scale, whereby predominantly village culture is being rapidly replaced by predominantly urban culture. The last major change in settlement patterns was the accumulation of hunter-gatherers into villages many thousand years ago. Village culture is characterised by common bloodlines, intimate relationships, and communal behavior whereas urban culture is characterised by distant bloodlines, unfamiliar relations, and competitive behavior. This unprecedented movement of people is forecast to continue and intensify in the next few decades, mushrooming cities to sizes incomprehensible only a century ago. Indeed, today, in Asia the urban agglomerations of Dhaka, Karachi, Mumbai,Delhi, Manila, Seoul and Beijing are each already home to over 20 million people, while thePearl River Delta, Shanghai-Suzhou and Tokyo are forecast to approach or exceed 40 million people each within the coming decade. Outside Asia, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, New York City, Lagos and Cairo are fast approaching or home to over 20 million people already. CAUSES
Urbanization occurs as individual, commercial, and governmental efforts to reduce time and expense in commuting and transportation while improving opportunities for jobs, education, housing, and transportation. Living in cities permits the advantages of the opportunities of proximity, diversity, and marketplace competition. However, the advantages of urbanisation are weighed against alienation issues, stress, increased daily life costs, and negative social aspects that result from mass marginalisation. Suburbanisation, which is happening in the cities of the largest developing countries, was sold and seen as an attempt to balance these negative aspects of urban life while still allowing access to the large extent of shared resources. Cities are known to be places where money, services and wealth are centralised. Many rural inhabitants come to the city for reasons of seeking fortunes and social mobility. Businesses, which provide jobs and exchange capital are more concentrated in urban areas. Whether the source is trade or tourism, it is also through the ports or banking systems that foreign money flows into a country, commonly located in cities. Economic opportunities are just one reason people move into cities, though they do not go to fully explain why urbanisation rates have exploded only recently in places like China and India. Rural flight is a contributing factor to urbanisation. In rural areas, often on small family farms or collective farms in villages, it has traditionally been difficult to access manufactured goods, though overall quality of life is very subjective, and may certainly surpass that of the city. Farm living has always been susceptible to unpredictable environmental conditions, and in times of drought, flood or pestilence, survival may become extremely problematic. In a New York Times article concerning the acute migration away from farming in Thailand, life as a farmer was described as "hot and exhausting." "Everyone says the farmer works the hardest but gets the least...
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