5.1  Urbanisation trends

In Study Session 2 you learned about the overall trend in global population growth. Most of this increase is taking place in urban areas. Urbanisation is an increase in the number of people living in towns and cities. Urbanisation occurs mainly because people move from rural areas to urban areas and it results in growth in the size of the urban population and the extent of urban areas. These changes in population lead to other changes in land use, economic activity and culture. Historically, urbanisation has been associated with significant economic and social transformations. For example, urban living is linked with higher levels of literacy and education, better health, lower fertility and a longer life expectancy, greater access to social services and enhanced opportunities for cultural and political participation (UNDESA, 2014). However, urbanisation also has disadvantages caused by rapid and unplanned urban growth resulting in poor infrastructures such as inadequate housing, water and sanitation, transport and health care services.

Learning Outcomes for Study Session 5

5.1.1  Global trends in urbanisation