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Thursday, November 29, 2018

URBAN VIOLENCE AND SECURITY Definitiaon of Urbanisation

URBAN VIOLENCE AND SECURITY Definitiaon of Urbanisation 

The variation in nature of cities or urban centres, demographically speaking makes it difficult to lay down any common criteria for the definition of an urban centre. The United Nations’ definition states thus: “An urban centre is a city that has 20,000 or more in population. The urban centre is largely characterised by non-agrarian economic activities”. Kenneth (1974:4) defines urbanisation as “…a process of population concentration in which the ratio of urban people to the total population in a territory increases”. However, this definition views cities as independent of the process of urban growths, therefore an increase in both population size and urban concentration may occur without an increase in urban territory. Reiss (1964:739) wisely stated that a large proportion of the inhabitants come from the rural areas to live in cities and make urbanisation occur. Thus, the social life of cities is strictly determined by their demographic influence. Wirth (1938) defines urbanisation as “…the cumulative accentuation of characteristics distinctive of the mode of life associated with the growth of cities”. In view of all these definitions above, our working definition of urbanisation for this course is “The movement of people from rural to urban areas, which results to growths of the cities or urban centres at the expense of the rural population and development”. That is why it is commonly referred to as living in the towns or cities rather than living in the rural areas or settlements. The urban centre is a sector or developed environment that is geographically or sociologically defined in terms of structures, economic, political, socio-cultural system and total development. Urbanisation is a process that occurs in nearly every part of man’s endeavour. Therefore, the fact still remains that in as much that there is a disparity and segregation in development between the rural and urban centres, the movement from rural areas to cities will correspondently change the demographic and behavioral patterns of the world’s societies. This is due to the rates and methods at which rural workers decided to migrate to the cities and the ways in which modern society has organised itself in urban areas. It therefore makes segregation and intensification of poverty and affluence continue to be on the increase. The resultant effect of this increase will be the degradation of the socioeconomic factors that support the total population.  DiscussionUrbanisation is distinguished in two ways; physically and socially. The physical nature or appearance of urbanisation implies where people live, and the social aspect depicts the appropriate socio-cultural systems and the amenities that characterise urban centres. The desire for improved conditions of life, economic growths, employment opportunities, better housing and other requirements of an improved standard of living believed to be available in cities leads to rural-urban drift and consequently urban population concentration. Therefore, the pace of urbanisation in the countries of the world and its implications are usually higher in the developing countries than the developed countries. Urban centres always consist of heterogeneities, which can easily reflect their ethnic cleavage, occupational endowment and social cultural differentials. Urbanisation is a process and a way of life that tremendously strains its infrastructural facilities through high population density. Although it affects the ways of life in urban centres, its effects are not necessarily on urban centres alone. The rural areas are not left out; migration from rural areas to urban centres changes the people’s lives, status, attitudes and aspirations. Comparative Analysis of Urbanisation between the Developing and Developed Countries A tremendous rise in urban population in the developing countries has often been the major source of both social and economic problems. Close to half of the world’s population lives in urban centres, especially in the developed countries. Since the 1960s, the number of city dwellers worldwide rose in billions and in the next two decades, it is expected to rise more than ever before. Most of the cities are increasing in population day by day without improving or increasing their carrying capacities and social amenities. 
 Urban growth rate varies considerably among countries, and the rates of population growth can be ranged in different geometric forms. For example, most of the developed countries of the world’s cities are now less in population than that of the developing countries, because of the good planning and development of their rural communities or villages. They are catered for in terms of the amenities and their economic needs. This reduces rural movement to urban centres or cities. The rapid growth rate of urban centres first occurred in the nineteenth century, especially during the Industrial Revolution. The growth of the less developed parts of the world’s urban centres did not reach significant levels, until after the Second World War. Consequently, relatively small fractions of the developing countries’ population increased, because of their corresponding larger share of the world’s population. However, developing countries today have a larger urban population than the developed countries. Almost all the developing countries that have been concerned with the size and growth of the urban populations believe that rural to urban migration has been the prominent factor or major contributing factor to urban growth. Although, higher population growth is a serious problem in most developing countries, rural to urban migration puts even greater strain on cities than in the developed countries. Therefore, from the African perspective, most of the African urban populations are both unstable and are continuously increasing through migration. That is why the 1960 census of Ghana defined localities having more than 5,000 residents as urban centres. In Nigeria, the assuming estimated index of western Nigeria population falls between that of the United States of America and Canada (Kenneth; 1974: 4). In Central African Republic, urban centres consist of administrative posts and villages that are five miles from these posts. Ugandan cities consist of all towns and small trading centres. In Senegal, the cities include Saint Louis, Thies, Kaolack, Dior bol, Longa and Ziguinchor (Albert and et al; 1994: 11). Note: The following elements are very significant in the definition and discussion of urbanisation. (a) A critical examination of the components of urban centres (b) Proportional rate at which urbanisation emerges, its growths and development (c) Differentials and disparity between urban centre and rural settlement life patterns (d) Proximity of rural settlements to urban centres, in terms of their socio-economic needs and development (e) Comparative analysis of urban centre growth rates among the developing and developed countries of the world

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