Risks and Opportunities of Urbanization

Risks and opportunities of urbanization The number of mega cities and their populations has been increasing and the trend is predicted to continue, especially in developing countries. Characteristics of the mega cities identify their effects on the cities and these have consequences on sustainable development and form the focus of this discussion.
High population density of megacities identifies their potentials to promoting sustainable local and international economic and political developments. Factors such as availability of cheap skilled labour and identity of the cities as centres for economic and political decisions show the cities’ ability to define their destinies and destiny of global stakeholders due to high-level interdependence. The high population, which is growing, may however be a threat to sustainability due to depletion of resources and resultant resource scarcity. High population density, especially with cities that lack proper planning, is also a threat to living standards and welfare because of compromised garbage and sewage systems and this has potential adverse effects to resource allocation and utilization for sustainable development. Dynamism among the cities is another factor to sustainable development and while dynamism in economic activities promotes economic development, unplanned activities such as land use undermine future developmental prospects. Planned ventures as realized in “settlement, infrastructure, and land tenure” however ensure planed approach to sustainable development of the mega cities and emerging cities. Increased significance of social and economic gap, as people converge in the cities, is however a source of conflict and a threat to present and future development. Poor governance, compared to developing complexity levels in mega cities is another threat to the cities’ developmental prospects (Kotter, 2004).
While effects of development and expansion of mega cities offer developmental prospects, some of its factors are a threat to sustainable development and development and implementation of strategies for managing the threats are recommended.
Kotter, T. (2004).Risks and opportunities of urbanization and megacities. FIG. Retrieved from: http://www.fig.net/pub/athens/papers/ps02/ps02_2_kotter.pdf.