Process of Urbanization and Factors of Temporal Urban Growth

World as well as India  is urbanizing at a rapid pace. Though the current level of urbanization in India is lowest compared to the other developing countries. The absolute size of urban population is enormous. By the turn of the millennium about 300 million Indians lived in nearly 3700 towns and cities (urban areas) spread across the length and breadth of the country. This comprised of nearly 30 per cent of its total population in sharp contrast to 60 million (15 per cent) who lived in urban areas in 1947 at the time of our independence. During the last 50 years the population has grown two and a half times more and the urban India has grown as almost second largest in the world, only next to China.

This century is set to become India’s urban century with more people living in cities and towns than in the country side (rural areas) (Goldman Sachs, 2007). India has 10 of the fastest growing cities in the world and is witnessing massive urbanization. The urban growth is happening not only in large cities but also in small and medium sized towns. This chapter aims at analyzing the size and growth of Urban India across the states. For the analysis purpose the data from 1901, 1991 and 2001 census is used. This part of the study covers the Pattern of growth of urban population in India, State-wise growth of urban population and drivers of urban growth in India, State level trends and disparities in urban growth. Finally, it covers the analysis of the fruitful policies and conclusions.

Factors of Temporal Urban Growth in India and World

The first cities seem to have appeared sometime between 6000 and 5000 B.C. These cities were however small and hard distinguished from lawns. By 3000 B.C., there was in existence what may be called “true” cities. After that there was a lull, for some 2000 years. It was not until Greco-Roman times that cities came into existence.

It is curious that the cities in the regions where city life had originated eventually went into eclipse and cities appeared in new regions. After sometime the cities of Mesopotamia, India and Egypt, of Persia, Greece and Rome fell mostly for the reason that they had all been tied Lo an economy that was primarily agricultural.

In Western Europe the cities became more numerous and the growth of cities kept going on. The nineteenth century was a period of true urban revolution and since 1800 urbanization has gone ahead much faster and reached proportions far greater than at any previous Lime in world history. What are the factors which led to the growth of cities?

Surplus Resources

“Cities grow wherever a society, or a group within it, gains control over resources greater than are necessary for the mere sustenance of life.” In ancient times these resources were acquired through subjugation of man by man. Slavery, forced labour or Taxation by the ruling or conquering class supplied the foundations of the growth of city life. In modern Limes man has won over nature and extended his power.

He has exploited the natural resources Lo such a great extent through technological improvements that now relatively few people can supply the basic needs of many. The extension of man’s power over nature, especially in the western countries, has been the primary condition of the modern growth of cities and city population.

 Industrialization and Commercialization

The urban growth has also been greatly stimulated by the new techniques of production associated with industrial revolution. The invention of machinery, the development of steam power, and the application of huge capital in industrial enterprises led to the establishment of gigantic manufacturing plants which brought about the mobility of immobile groups of workers hastening their concentration around a factory area.

For the sake of working with others and of high wages men abandoned rural work and streamed into the industrial cities. Thus, Jamshedpur, a steel centre in India, Chicago, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow became the big industrial cities of the world. With the coming of mechanical power, a new geographical shift has been made.

Formerly, aggregations of peoples were found along the river valleys, where the land was fertile and flat. But today they are found near the sources of coal and iron. The use of scientific methods and of machinery driven by electricity or the combustion engine in production of goods has now enabled one-quarter of population to support the other three quarters, whereas a century ago three-quarters were required to feed one-quarter. Cities now grow without much reference to the agricultural lands.

While industrialization has stimulated city growth, trade and commerce also have played an important part in urban expansion. In ancient civilizations too cities grew wherein goods were distributed and commercial transactions were carried. Thus, Athens, Sparta, Venice, Pataliputra (Modern Patna) were great trading centres.

In modern times, the development of modern marketing institutions and of methods of exchange has greatly contributed to the growth of cities. Today face to face commercial transactions need not be carried in big cities but the mere fact that a large percentage of their residents are engaged in “paper” enterprises is a significant factor to add to the city growth.

 Development of Transport and Communication

The development in methods of transportation and communication and the facilities which cities offer for satisfying the desire for communication also explain urban growth. Industrialization depends upon transportation so that raw material and manufactured goods can be carried in large volume. In an industrial city the means of transport and communication are essentially developed.

The city is connected not only with other parts in and outside of the country but through developed means of local transportation the different parts of the city as well are connected to each other. At the time factory was introduced, local transportation facilities were poor. The factory workers were compelled to live near their place of employment. Congestion of housing resulted.

The local transport added to the population of the city by extending its boundaries. The city was divided into different areas, a market area, a dwelling area, a slum area, a factory area and so on. In earlier cities lack of adequate local transportation prevented such a marking off of natural areas. The modern city is a community which has become highly differentiated in its parts.

 Economic Pull of the City

Cities provide more opportunity for personal advancement than do the rural areas. Modern business and commerce pull young men to the cities where they are paid munificent salaries. People live in cities not because they like them as place of residence but because they can get jobs there. Employment opportunities are more in the city than in the village.

Even businessmen come to the city from the village to avail of better opportunities for making higher profits. As the standard of living in the country rises, there is an increasing demand for the kind of commodities which are supplied in and by cities.

This increased demand means that people can earn livelihood in a larger percentage in the cities. It is in the city that leaders, religious or educational, receive special and high recognition. In short, the possibilities of greater achievement and better living in the city account for a good deal for urban expansion.

 Educational and Recreational Facilities

Until recently all high schools were in cities in India. The elementary schools in a city are better equipped than in the village. Most training schools, colleges, and technical schools are urban. Most big libraries are situated in cities.

Examination Centres for competitive examinations are located in cities and the recruiting agencies are also urban located. Art galleries and museums are urban. Prominent educationists give their talks in cities. Naturally, on account of all these facilities young men and women are attracted to the cities for higher education.

Recreational facilities are available in cities. Amusement theatres and operas are urban. By making appeals to the feelings and play impulses of children and adults alike they draw them to the cities.


Resource Making Characteristics of Population


About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
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