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IGCSE Geography - Revision guide: Urbanisation

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Urbanisation Issues - eg. Dhaka

Social impact of urbanisation

Urbanisation and health

Fastest growing cities

Is Urbanisation = Economic development?

Urban - Definition

Urban is defined as "that which is characteristic of a city." 

Functions of Cities

Click on image to access an interactive tutorial on cities

Urbanisation Issues

Urbanisation can cause problems such as transport congestion, lack of sufficient housing, over-rapid growth and environmental degradation. Many cities display particularly sharp inequalities in housing provision, health and employment. 

Read more BBC GCSE Bitesize

Urbanization Challenges - watch this video for an overview

Social Impact on Urbanization

Fertility rates. Initially, the societal shift from rural to urban alters rates of natural population increase. There are no recorded examples of where this has not been true. 

Families and living arrangements. The evolution to an urban society is also frequently equated with a decline in the status of the family, and with a proliferation of nontraditional family forms and new types of households. By nontraditional we mean those families without two parents and/or without children.

Links to labor markets. This diversity in living arrangements and family composition in urban societies is also closely linked to shifts in the world of work—in the urban economy and in occupations. Not only does urbanization involve obvious changes in employment and working life, it alters the relationships between households (the collective units of consumption) and labor markets (the production sector). 

Read more HERE 

Fastest growing cities and urban areas

Listed here are top 100 fastest growing cities in the world - click on image to see more such data!


Lagos - Nigeria

Urban Growth - Interactive

Early Urbanization

Cities have existed for thousands of years and can be traced back to the river valley civilizations of Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq), Egypt, India, and China. At first, these settlements depended largely on agriculture and domestic cattle, but as they grew in size they became centers for merchants and traders.

Urban growth, also known as urbanization, accelerated dramatically with the advent of industrialization some 200 years ago.

NATGEO article on Urban  

Urbanization Issues - Case of Dhaka, Bangladesh (PBS video)

click on image to watch video and see report from PBS 

World Health Day - Urbanization and health

The World Health Organization had chosen the theme of “urbanization and health” for World Health Day, on 7 April 2010. 

Health challenges particularly evident in cities relate to water, environment, violence and injury, noncommunicable diseases (cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases), unhealthy diets and physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol as well as the risks associated with disease outbreaks.

From the Health Bulletin of WHO

New Cities Summit - 2012

Urbanization = Economic development?

Whenever and wherever societies have flourished and prospered rather than stagnated and decayed, creative and workable cities have been at the core of the phenomenon; they have pulled their weight and more. It is the same still.


Shenzhen in south-east China between 1988 and 2009