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Geography

Urbanisation in LEDCs

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Urban areas are growing faster in LEDCs than anywhere else in the world, but this growth brings problems and challenges, all of which require good management and solutions.

Causes of urban growth

Although the process of urbanisationUrbanisation: the growth of towns and cities and associated movement of populations into them happens in both MEDCs [MEDC: A More Economically Developed Country (MEDC) has high levels of development based on economic indicators such as gross domestic product (the country's income). ] and LEDCs [LEDC: A Less Economically Developed Country (LEDC) has low levels of development, based on economic indicators, such as gross domestic product (the country's income). ], the fastest-growing cities in the world are in LEDCs.

The reasons for the growth of urban areas include:

  • A lack of employment opportunities in the countryside. Overpopulation and poor crop yields [crop yield: The measurement of the amount of crop which is harvested in an area. ] are all push factors [push factors: Factors that encourage people to leave the place in which they live and to move elsewhere. ] - why people leave the countryside.
  • Better paid jobs in the cities, an expected higher standard of living, and more reliable food are all pull factors [pull factors: Factors which attract people to move to a new place. ] - why people are attracted to the city.
  • People who migrate to towns and cities tend to be young and so have higher birth rates in that age range.
  • Better medical conditions compared to the countryside mean more successful births and a better life expectancy [life expectancy: How long, on average, a person can expect to live. ].

There are many problems associated with the rapid growth. These include unplanned housing (squatter settlements/shanty towns), dealing with urban waste, pollution and stress on the infrastructure [infrastructure: The basic structures needed for an area to function, for example roads and communications. ] and the city's services.

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