Urban Development Paper

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URBANIZATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Congolese –German Center for Microfinance, UPC, Kinshasa, 2010

By Bugugu Muhigiri, Efekele Bokalo & Ileka Ngoy Under the supervision of Charlotte Wagner ABSTRACT As people live more and more in cities, they change consumption habits, and in they turn towns attract investors, and the number of city dwellers increases. This paper investigates the link between urbanization and economic growth in general, and especially in Africa. Cities seem to be efficient in organizing exchange between suppliers and consumers, and contribute so to economic development. The positive correlation between urban growth and the development of economy has been shown in previous researches and confirm the theory of exchange.


INTRODUCTION People live in a society and they organize their infrastructure according to their activities. As these latter grow, they upgrade the agglomeration to a city. Cities are playing a key role in development as they are moving forward, using more and more manpower and in the same time attracting new urban dwellers with the private and public services offered there. This phenomenon is faster with globalization as there is greater mobility and migration but also with the evolvement of economy moving from agriculture to the industry and services sectors. Nowadays, more than half the world population live in cities and the urban growth still goes on; besides, new challenges come with the development of towns and city halls have a greater responsibility to address them in order to alleviate urban poverty and increase human development. The purpose of this work is to determine whether (and how far) urbanization influences economic development, because such a subject is relevant as modernization is speeding up in developing economies which experience faster urban growth. The first chapter focuses on urban growth, defining it and giving its geographical distribution. The second one stresses on economic development and how it is different to economic growth. Then in the third chapter we will deal with the possible correlation between urbanization and economic development in the basis of previous researches that give interesting information. The fourth chapter will focus on the process of urbanization in Africa and its place in the world in to see the specificity of this continent where urban dwellers are very poor and need particular attention.

By Bugugu Muhigiri

CHAPTER I: URBAN GROWTH Nowadays, in many developing countries, the growing of cities getting faster and this is promoted with more investment. This setting can find the explanation by the reason that people move from the rural regions to the towns, attracted by the facilities found there. Moreover, some cities experience natural increase of their population as the birthrate is somewhat higher than the death rate. The literature exploration shows many definitions about urban growth, but the following one is preferred. Urban growth is a result of a combination of factors: geographical location, natural population growth, rural to urban migration, infrastructure development, government policies, corporate strategies, and other major political and economic forces, including globalization. (Ofori, Amoah, 2007) The adaptation of this urban growth to economy face some difficulties because the development of neighborhoods without a plan of expansion and inadequate facilities (water, gas, electricity, sewage). This can imply health and environment problems (http://objectifbrevet.free.fr/corriges/cor_thc_cor01.htm). The urban growth can be the result of a lot of factors such as economic development that influences it strongly; it also depends on negatives effects such as drought, famine, ethnic conflicts, civil strife...
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