Urban vs Rural Areas


What is urban center  .. what is rural center  .. each nation has a definition !!!

There are many aspects affects on this expression which also differs from a nation to another according to each nation’s culture and technology level reached, Here-under some of aspects used to measure which areas are Urban or Rural:

  • Population Size and Density

for example, a large proportion of settlements classed as ‘rural’ in China and India would fall within the ‘urban’ category. Given the size of the population of these two countries, this would significantly increase the overall proportion of urban residents in Asia and in the world.

  • Availability of Services

secondary schools, hospitals and banks. larger cities also tend to be favored with public investment over small and intermediate-sized urban centers, including those with important roles in supporting agricultural production, processing and marketing.

  • Public Investment

As public investment in services and infrastructure tends to concentrate on centers that are defined as urban. As a consequence, investment can bypass settlements not defined as urban even if these can, and often do, have an important ‘urban’ role in the development of the surrounding rural areas.

*comparisons are difficult*

As you may look at settlements which classed in the same category, may be very different in both population size and infrastructure.

In addition, the reliability of data on urbanization trends within one nation can be compromised by changes in the definition of urban centers over time.

So, According to Wikipedia a new concept came up describing the landscape interface between town and country, or also as the rural—urban transition zone where urban and rural uses mix and often clash (Periurban areas).

Peri-Urban Interface

 Outside the city boundaries, The physical boundaries of urban built-up areas often do not coincide with their administrative boundaries. The areas surrounding urban centers generally have an important role in providing food for urban consumers, with proximity lowering the costs of transport and storage.

This depends on the combination of a number of factors including:

  • Economic and infrastructural base of the urban center
  • The region and the nation; the historical, social and cultural characteristics of the area
  • Its ecological and geographical features

Peri-urban areas around one center are also not necessarily homogeneous (high- and middle-income residential) as developments may dominate one section, while others may host industrial estates and others provide cheap accommodation to low-income migrants in informal settlements.

Impacts of Urbanization

Can be divided to many aspects as follow:

  • Changes in land use

Land markets are subject to competitive pressure as urban centers expand and speculation is frequent. Whether low-income groups such as small and marginal farmers or residents of informal settlements can benefit from these changes, or end up losing access to land, depends largely on land rights systems.

  • Changes in farming systems and patterns of labour force participation

Because peri-urban agriculture can be highly profitable, small farmers may be squeezed out by larger farmers who can invest in agricultural intensification. As a consequence, wage agricultural labor often becomes more important than small-scale farming, attracting migrant workers. On the other hand, residents of peri-urban areas may benefit from employment opportunities in the city.

  • Changes demands for infrastructure and pressure on natural resource systems

With many rural dwellers’ access to resources having to compete with urban demand (for example, for water, fuel-wood and land for non-agricultural uses) or affected by urban-generated wastes.

Testimonial from real life

Look what happened in Southeast Asia, growing number of extended metropolitan regions, agriculture, small-scale industry, industrial estates and suburban residential developments co-exist side by side. Availability and affordability of transport are essential for the intense movement of goods and the extreme mobility of the population.

While in sub-Saharan Africa, agriculture still prevails in peri-urban areas although often with significant shifts in land ownership and use. This is especially the case where smallholder productivity is low because of the increasing costs of inputs and limited credit availability.

(UPADSD) international conference – 2nd version

The 2nd Conference on “Urban Planning and Architectural Design for Sustainable Development” (UPADSD), to be held in Italy, follows the success of the very first version which took place in Lecce, Italy  during the year of 2015.

this conference will discuss critical issues such as: City planning, sustainable energy, Rural developments, Sustainability and the built environment, Energy resources, Transportation, etc.

Urban Planning and Architectural Design for Sustainable Development (UPADSD) - 2nd conference

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