Urbanization often occurs when a country or its economy becomes more industrialized. Factories are built and this attracts workers from the countryside, smaller towns, and other countries (immigrants). As more and more people come to work and settle in these areas, large cities begin to form. Urbanization is very beneficial to an economy, but there are downsides.
Rapid urbanization can be a cause of slums, which usually lack proper housing, employment, and basic needs such as sanitation, clean water, and electricity. My secondary source was an article listing the five most populated slums in the world. It seems that while the existence of slums are present in many parts of world, they are more noticeable in countries of Latin America, Asia, and Africa. There are hundreds of thousands and in some cities, millions of people living in slums. In Asia, the most populated slum is found in Orangi Town, Pakistan while others are in India. The Oscar-winning movie, “Slumdog Millionaire,” directed by Danny Boyle, centers around a boy from the Juhu slums in Mumbai, where some of the largest slums in the world are located. The article also lists Kenya, South Africa, and Mexico as countries that have heavily populated slums. During the times of the Industrial Revolutions, growing cities in the US and Western Europe faced similar problems as these slums do.
As a primary source, I found an excerpt online that was originally from The Condition of the Working Class in England written by Friedrich Engels. He described the city of Manchester when he lived there in the mid to late 1800s.While he does mention a few positive things, he mainly focuses on the negative. Engels states he saw “unqualifiedly the most horrible dwellings which [Engels] have yet beheld” and uses words such as “dirty, foul-smelling, and slimy” to describe buildings and streets of Manchester. While the source is referencing Manchester, New York City had problems with overcrowding as well.
I think every country has faced a time in its history when there wasn’t enough infrastructure and resources to provide for its economy. Cities can grow so quickly, yet there isn’t always room for every single person that wants to live there. The goal, which I know isn’t easy, should find a way to control or manage urbanization.