Here is a compilation of essays on ‘Problems of Urban Growth’ for class 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Problems of Urban Growth’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay on the Problems of Urban Growth
- Essay on Employment
- Essay on the Provision of Social Services
- Essay on Urban Sprawl
- Essay on Traffic Congestion
- Essay on Pollution
1. Essay on Employment:
Rural-urban migration has been going on for centuries but it has not always been as great a problem as it is today. In fact, whenever the drift is gradual and involves only small numbers it can usually be contained, and this was almost always the case in the past when population numbers were small.
Occasionally it got out of hand, as during the Industrial Revolution in Britain and Europe when thousands of people flocked into the towns, partly as a result of agricultural changes, and the standards of housing, hygiene and health declined because of overcrowding in the towns. Even then there was some hope for migrants because the growing industries provided employment, even though it was often badly paid.
Nowadays the problems of urbanization are greater, especially in underdeveloped countries, because populations all over the world have expanded rapidly and are continuing to expand at an increasing rate, so that far greater numbers are involved. Moreover in many cases the people who are flocking to the towns are unemployed. Standards of housing and health are therefore low and this gives public services in underdeveloped countries a task which is often beyond their powers to solve.
Urban growth in advanced countries poses fewer problems, for the large population concentrations in towns and cities attract new industrial development, and employment opportunities for migrants are available.
2. Essay on the Provision of Social Services:
The poverty of migrants into cities such as Calcutta, Lagos, Manila or Rio de Janeiro aggravates the problems of providing social services such as water supplies, sanitation and sewage disposal. Such is the pace of growth that in some cities plans for improvement merely scratch the surface of the problem.
Squatters cleared from one area may settle in another unless housing can be found for them, and it is very difficult to match the density of population in crowded shanty-towns by modern housing development, so that slum dwellers inevitably outnumber the new homes provided by city housing authorities.
This is sometimes true even in the cities of advanced countries where the old tenements and workers’ dwellings of the nineteenth century, often in the congested heart of the cities, are often in slum condition. But such is the shortage of land that new homes cannot be built until the slums have been cleared. In this case the problem is where to house the people while the new houses are being built. Thus almost everywhere progress to improve conditions is very slow.
3. Essay on Urban Sprawl:
Among the major problems posed by town growth is the areal expansion of rapidly growing cities. In almost all countries of the world towns are growing at the expense of surrounding agricultural land. In both developed and underdeveloped countries the wealthier classes of town dwellers are constantly moving from the crowded centres of the cities to the more pleasant suburbs where they can build larger houses and enjoy the space and privacy of a garden around the house.
In many countries the outskirts of the towns are also added to by squatters who build makeshift shacks on unused land although they have no legal right to the land. The difficulty of restricting town growth in either case is immense, and most towns are surrounded by wide rings of suburbs.
Historically suburbs have grown first along major roads leading into the towns as ribbon settlement. Such sites are the first to be developed because of their accessibility, but soon the demand for suburban homes causes the land between ribbon settlements to be bought up, built on and made accessible by the construction of new roads. This kind of development is known as infill.
At the same time small towns and villages within commuting distance of major cities are also developed for residential use. In this way towns are continually growing and in some areas the suburbs of a number of neighbouring towns may be so close together as to form an almost continuous urban development called a conurbation (Fig. 2.42). Many examples of conurbations are found in Europe and America.
The almost continuous development of the U.S.A.’s eastern seaboard which includes many large cities and their associated suburban zones has been called Megalopolis. Many people predict that southeast England, where towns are growing rapidly at the expense of the intervening countryside, will one day be another almost entirely urban area.
Other conurbations are found in the English Midlands where the towns of Birmingham, Smethwick, West Bromwich, Walsall, and Wolverhampton, as well as a number of smaller towns, have almost merged in a broad area of industrial and mining development called the Black Country.
The same is true in northern France and southern Belgium to a lesser extent and also in the Ruhr Valley in Germany, where only very strict planning laws have been able to maintain narrow strips of countryside between the urban sprawls. In Japan the three largest cities, Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka are the centres of vast conurbations and form an ‘urban corridor’ housing as many people as the whole of England, and far more than in Megalopolis.
In Britain, and many other countries a Green Belt policy restricts new buildings in an area around the main towns in an attempt to restrict the rapid expansion of urban sprawl.
The problems of urban growth in underdeveloped countries are often different. The main problem is to improve conditions in squatter areas and provide essential services when much of the town’s population is not contributing towards the rates and taxes which finance such developments. At the same time the problem of limiting sprawl in the suburban developments of the wealthier classes also has to be overcome.
As in advanced countries, speculative builders are much more willing to build higher-class housing from which they can make good profits than to build much more essential housing for working class families. Thus the brunt of the housing problem falls on governments which already have great financial problems in the overall development of their countries’ more basic resources. Additional strains are imposed by the lower standard of health and hygiene in many underdeveloped countries and by the need to provide additional educational facilities for rapidly growing populations.
4. Essay on Traffic Congestion:
Size is not the only physical problem associated with town growth. Another major problem is traffic congestion. The larger a town grows and the more important its functions become, the more people are likely to work or shop there. As the town becomes larger, even people living within the built-up area need to travel by car or bus to cross the town and outsiders naturally bring their cars or travel by public transport. Wherever trade is important, commercial vehicles such as vans and lorries will also help to add to traffic.
Because most of the commercial functions of towns are concentrated in the C.B.D.s, the centres are the areas of greatest traffic congestion. There are, however, other areas where traffic congestion can occur at certain times of the day, if not all day long. Such areas include the roads leading to factories, offices or schools, which will be thronged with people morning and evening; minor shopping centres which grow up in the suburbs; football grounds and other sporting arenas which may cause congestion at weekends or in the evenings; entertainment districts which will be busy at night; roads radiating to residential and dormitory towns which will be busy when commuters flock to the cities in the morning to work and return home in the evenings.
Such congestion becomes greater when the centre is built up in tall skyscraper blocks whose offices sometimes employ thousands of workers, because at the end of office hours everyone leaves the building within a short space of time to make their way home. This puts tremendous pressure on public transport and causes journeys to take much longer than they normally would.
In most cities in developed countries the rush hour may really last for two-and- a-half or three hours and during that period buses and trains are crammed to capacity, roads are full of buses, private cars and taxis, and movement around and out of the city is very slow.
In older towns, whether in developed or underdeveloped countries, the narrowness of the streets, which were built long before the days of motorized transport and the lack of parking facilities help to create congestion. Cars may park along the edges of the roads restricting movement to a narrow lane and a multiplicity of narrow streets, sharp corners and waits to turn into lines of traffic may slow down movement and thus create even greater congestion.
5. Essay on Pollution:
Another problem which has only been fully realized in recent years is that of pollution, and environmental deterioration. This has been a growing problem in towns all over the world for many years and includes not only pollution of the air by smoke from factories and houses, fumes from cars and so on but also pollution of rivers and other water resources in urban areas by effluents from factories, oil and rubbish.
It also includes the spoiling of the landscape by tip-heaps and derelict land, as well as problems of noise from factories and traffic. All these factors make towns less healthy and less pleasant to live in and must be tackled by town authorities. In 1952 it was estimated that around 4,000 extra deaths were caused by ‘smog’ in London but the enforcement of a Clean Air policy has gradually reduced this figure so that there are no extra deaths for this reason today. There has not been a major smog in London for about 20 years.
Smoke control is more easily enforced than other legislation such as noise abatement. Exhaust fumes are a particularly difficult problem in the U.S.A. where car ownership is very high. Japan, too, has one of the worst pollution problems in the world because of its rapid industrial developments and the fact that government restriction on factory emissions are far less stringent than in western countries. Noise is a problem especially in the vicinity of airports. Pollution originating in towns can also have adverse effects on the surrounding countryside.