Our century is the Urban Century. Soon the world will become a giant urban system. Urbanization and the fast growth of cities and towns have become one of the major characteristics of the present century. Urban life is now way of life of modern man.
Humanity is now halfway through a massive multi-generational urbanization project. Over the past two hundred years, most people in the more-developed countries have moved to cities. Now, people in the global south are voting with their feet, and cities in the less-developed countries are growing so that they can accommodate rural-to-urban migrants and the natural increase in their populations. We need to work with rapidly-growing cities to better prepare them for their inevitable growth.
Migration also brings Social Change especially in the case of rural-urban migration. Rural-urban interaction is an important aspect of urbanisation. It is very probable that urbanisation and urban growth would have their impact on rural areas and activities in rural areas would have their effect on the nearby towns and cities.
The adverse rural-to-urban flows occur in conjunction with the spillover of people, jobs, and funds from the growing core to peripheral areas (spread effects). The size and geographical extent of the beneficial and adverse forces on rural areas depend on the characteristics of the rural and urban areas and the nature of rural-urban linkages. In general, the beneficial forces are stronger for rural areas near urban cores, while the adverse flows dominate in regions more peripheral to the growing urban areas. Thus, backwash is more likely in rural areas outside of the rural-to-urban commuting zones.
This backwash effect call for some mitigation strategies. The planner must prepare for urban expansion.
Preparing for urban expansion means embracing the idea of “Making Room” for population growth by preparing cities for both urban expansion and densification. Urban Expansion eats up green forest land.Orderly urban expansion takes place when governments acquire public lands to lay out the periphery of the city in advance of urban development, providing an organized framework for growth. Effective densification takes place when municipal governments allow for redevelopment and infill of existing areas by implementing supportive regulations. When cities are unable to guide expansion or densify—whether due to bureaucratic ineptitude, lack of resources, or political resistance—the city continues to grow, but in a chaotic way that is less inclusive, less productive and less sustainable. Often the city grows layer by layer.
Marron Institute of Urban Management, NYU is doing a good work in this field. I respect their work.