Second topic

A shift in population away from rural areas and into city areas appears to be one of the most common human behaviors in this situation, and there are many reasons why this is so. The consequences are not always positive for the people who migrate, however, and there is also an impact on those already in the cities who then have to share their urban environment with increasing numbers of immigrants. This paper explains the factors which drive this migration to cities, and enumerates the potential hazards which can arise in urban environments. The especial vulnerabilities of the poor in this situation are highlighted, along with a number of strategies which can be followed to improve the standard of living of the urban poor. This paper contends that the best strategy to address urban poverty is to invest in environmental infrastructure such as waste disposal, clean water provision, transport systems and renewable energy sources but that the detail of such a strategy will be different for each major city in the world. . Third world countries traditionally have large proportion of people who make their living by subsistence farming. This is a hard and unpredictable way of life which wears people out and makes them dissatisfied. One important factor is the tendency of families to have many children, which ensures the security of the older generation in the short term, but creates an ever greater pressure on basic resources in the countryside like food, fuel, and water. This is what creates the so called ‘population problem’ of the third world. (Anand and Morduch, 1998) Over time it becomes harder and harder to maintain the large families and so people drift to the cities to find ways of supporting themselves and their relatives. Weather catastrophes, wars and competition for scarce resources also drive people out of rural environments and these can occur suddenly, encouraging rapid and chaotic immigration to cities. Additionally there are factors which pull people towards cities, such as the possibility of new employment opportunities, a steady wage and broader horizons for personal development. The lure of products and services from the developed world is also very powerful, but often the aspirations of the migrants are not met by the reality of urban poverty. The economic effects of migration to cities can be very severe, as for example when the number of workers in an area rises, the level of wages is driven in a downwards direction, and the overall poverty in the area for long-term urban dwellers and new arrivals increases. These demographic effects have a different effect on women than on men, with women often suffering a hidden burden because of the demand to bear children, and pressure to produce sons causing lower survival rates in girls. (Anand and Morduch, 1998) It is the men who are able to migrate and take up new possibilities in the cities while women and girls are confined to domestic roles and are less able to benefit economically and culturally. Empirical studies on megacities, defined as cities which have a population of at least 10 million in 2000, have shown that the poor are at risk from many hazards. (Cohen, 1993) Size in itself is not necessarily an impoverishing factor, since civilizations who possess appropriate technologies sustain wealthy megacities such as Tokyo and New York. In Mexico city, however, the expansion has

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