URBANISATION/ COUNTER-URBANISATION IN RIO DA JANEIRO (LEDC)
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The city of Rio de Janeiro is located on Brazil's south-east coast. It has a population of approximately 11.7 million people, making it one of Brazil's largest settlements. The number of inhabitants has grown for a number of reasons.
Firstly, natural increase (this is when the birth rate is higher than the death rate). Secondly, is the term ‘urbanisation’. This is where, over time millions of people have relocated from rural areas into the city of Rio. 65% of urban growth is a result of this movement, often caused by a variety of ‘push and pull factors’.
WHAT IS URBANISATION?
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‘Urbanisation’ is the process whereby the percentage of people living in towns and cities increases above those who live in rural areas. According to Duddin, 1996 ‘as the world’s population has grown the proportion of people living in towns and cities have also increased’.
HOW DOES URBANISATION TAKE PLACE?
• The movement of people (migration) from rural to urban areas exceeds that of residents from the urban to rural.
• Life expectancy is greater in urban than that of rural neighbourhoods. Resulting in more people living in the urban area. There is often better access to medical care and other services than rural parts.
• Natural population increase is greater in urban than in rural areas, which leads to a rapid increase in urban population.
• Urbanisation is happening on a global scale. Below are indicators of its ever changing progression.
• In 1900 only 10% of the world population lived in urban areas (class notes).
• Whereas, today a staggering 47% of the world population lead an urban lifestyle. (Class notes).
People migrate into cities for diverse reason, these are known as ‘Urban pull factors’. Moving into the city can mean better career prospects, salary increase and more reliable sources of food and housing. This can positively change their way of life.
Overcrowding in the city leads to other problems, some of which have very severe and detrimental effects on the environment, housing and general well being of its inhabitants. A few examples of these are increased pollution, traffic congestion not to mention the increase in crime rate. This makes it an unhealthy and difficult place to live.
WHAT IS COUNTER-URBANISATION?
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This involves people abandoning cities in favour of rural areas. Nonetheless, although people may relocate, they tend to continue with habits and lifestyles used in their previous urban environments. According to Flint (2001, p.12) “there is though a pattern of inner city decline and growth of population in small towns and villages in the countryside”.
Two of the factors that encourage this process:
1. Easier movement as a result of rising car ownership and construction of motorways.
2. Developments in information technology and telecommunication which allow people to communicate easily over long distances.
WHAT CAUSES COUNTER-URBANISATION?
There is no single, simple reason why people are leaving large cities and moving to smaller towns and villages. It is in fact a combination of factors that according to Flint (2001, p.129) include:
• Improvements in transport, especially the construction of new motorways and/ or rail routes that enable longer- distance commuting;
• People’s perceptions of the differences in quality of life between the city and smaller towns and villages;
• Improvements in health, education and social services.
Due to the recent and rapid growth there has been a severe shortage of housing forcing people to live in overcrowded Favelas (temporary accommodation). Nearly 20% of...
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