Reply To: The rapid growth of cities has a mostly positive impact on the development of the society.
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Opinions differ as to whether the rapid growth of cities nowadays is mostly a positive development for society. Some may take side with it; but a few are more skeptical, asserting that urbanization does not come without a cost. I agree with the latter.
Admittedly, the rapid urban growth has made numerous desirable changes in cities. One is that city dwellers have access to more chances of getting a decent job. From world-famous companies, investment banks, film studios to local factories, all of them prefer big cities, therefore providing many jobs for job seekers in cities. Communities can also benefit from adapting historic buildings to modern needs. As the rehabilitation of the Vogue Theatre in Manistee, Michigan, shows, renovating such buildings fosters community spirit and facilitates economic growth.
However, rapid city expansion brings more negative effects than positive ones. A typical case in point is mass migration to cities, which can lead to insufficient schools, increased health care costs and a deterioration in living standards due to limited available resources. Since accommodating this rapid expansion in urban dwelling requires expanded residential capacities, the supply of housing may not keep up with the demand. As a result, a rise in leasing prices drives some less well-off immigrants to live on the outskirts of cities. Other immigrants end up crowding into shared houses or even sleeping in garden sheds and garages. It is thus unsurprising that one-third of the urban population in developing countries resides in slum conditions.
Urban sprawl also creates negative impact on the local environment. Many modern cities are crowded, traffic-ridden, polluted and devoid of green spaces. The increasing use of private cars, most of which are powered by fossil fuels, creates global warming, acid rains, and urban smog. The particles released by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels give rise to urban smog, which causes many respiratory diseases such as asthma. The infamous smog of London in the 1950s is a case in point.
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