Rapid Urbanization and the Politics of the Urban Poor

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RAPID URBANIZATION AND THE POLITICS OF THE URBAN POOR

Rapid Urbanization and the Politics of the Urban Poor
SOC 300 – Section 015016 -Strayer University

Introduction
Rapid Urbanization is increasing in both the developed and developing countries however; rapid urbanization with the growth of large cities and the associated problems of unemployment, poverty, housing, food production, inadequate health care, poor sanitation and environmental degradation poses huge political challenges in the Least Developed Countries (LDC’s). The level of urbanization is measured by the proportion of the population living in urban areas. Urbanization is also the outcome of economic, social and political developments that lead to urban growth and concentration of large cities. It also includes changes in the land from rural to a metropolitan pattern of organization and governance and is one of the most powerful forces which influence global sustainability according to Nsiah-Gyabaah,(2005). The main purpose of this paper is to examine some of the causes, consequences and political outcome of Rapid Urbanization in LDC’s such as Africa and Asia, China and Latin America.

Rapid Urbanization and the Politics of the Urban Poor
Rapid Urbanization is the shift of physical growth from rural areas to urban areas (also known as the Push Factor) as a result of population immigration or migration involving a large number of people (and can sometimes occur during a particular year). The level of urbanization is measured by the proportion of the population living in urban areas and is increasing in both developed and undeveloped countries. Urbanization is also the outcome of economic, social and political developments which lead to urban growth and concentration of large cities as noted by Nsiah-Gyabaah,(2005). It also includes changes in land use and transportation from rural to metropolitan patterns of organization and governance and is one of the most powerful forces which influence global sustainability. It is dominated by four factors: Rural and urban migration

Population
Subsequent urban expansion
Political consequences of urban growth

Rural and Urban Migrations is a fact of life in Least Developing Countries. Each day millions of families move into the cities to see better economic opportunities for themselves and their families. They look for better employment and a better way of life. Refugees also migrate to cities fleeing civil wars, famine and disease and severe social injustice. In rural areas, many of the small family farmers find it difficult to improve one’s standard of living beyond basic sustenance. Farm living is dependent on unpredictable environmental conditions which causes survival to be extremely problematic during droughts and floods. Cities however; offer the greatest potential for reducing poverty and yet urban settings offer greater personal security. Cities are also known to be the place where the money is; where fortunes are made and where social mobility is much easier. The businesses general plenty of jobs and capital whether it’s trade of tourism and also generates plenty of foreign money to flow into the city. The Population growth in Least Developing Counties; according to The Library of Congress (1982): “during the 1960’s and early 1970’s, the economy of the developing countries as a whole grew at an average rate of 4.5-5%. At the same time the population growth of the LDC’s was well over 2% annually so that per capita incomes were raised only about half as rapidly as the gross national product (GNP)”. According to the United Nations Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries (UN-OHRLLS); UN (2006), there are at least “fifty Least Developed Countries” in the world today; Africa with 34 countries, Asia, 14 and Latin America, 1. These countries represent the weakest segment of humanity and need international support in order to break from poverty....
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