Understanding urbanization

By Shi Weicheng
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China.org.cn, August 1, 2010
Adjust font size:

Urbanization can be defined as the physical growth of urban areas resulting from global change. The United Nations, though, defines urbanization as any migration of people to cities that creates population growth. These definitions present two ways to understand urbanization, a city and people in a city.

Mr.Shi Weicheng is Ph.D candidate of International Politics, School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University. 

Many people are involved in these two aspects of urbanization. On one hand, the cities are expanding as the economy grows quickly. On the other hand, the lifestyle people once had changes gradually. It is easy for people to see changes where they live. Taller and taller skyscrapers are erected in familiar places. More and more traffic adds time to commutes. Perhaps, it is at this moment that people are immersed in what urbanization brings.

However, urbanization involves many more things than what was mentioned above. Neighborhoods vanish as urbanization turns people into strangers. Often, neighboring families don't know each other. In cities, it seems indifference is near and friendliness is dying.

Urbanization also puts heavy pressure on city dwellers, partly because the pace of the city is quite fast and people have less leisure time. A city, especially one that is cosmopolitan, attracts many talented people, which aggravates the competition. Because of this, it is hard for common people to gain a sense of achievement. They think they can only keep up with society's fast pace by working hard, which swallows their limited leisure time.

All of the factors listed above may even change a person's soul. Without releasing feelings, a person is likely to be unhealthy and may develop a psychological disease. Unfortunately, society has not attached great importance to this, something that threatens the all levels of society.

Sometimes, people are too quick to say cities make life better, but the truth is it happens only under certain conditions. Urbanization is complex. It is not a single track but a long process. In this process, people have to keep learning and adjusting so they can adapt to their ever-changing environment. Only by proper mental and physical preparation can people live a happy urban life. Urbanization should include more than a new look for the city, it needs to create a new look for the people.



Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter