MALAYSIA – Impact of Urbanization
Impact of Urbanization
by Kritik News Team | 21 Oct 2021
Malaysia is one of Asia’s most urbanized countries. Malaysia’s urbanization rate of more than 75 percent is caused by the migration of people from rural areas to the cities in pursuit of better career opportunities and infrastructure. While many believe that urbanization is good for the country’s financial growth, others have grave concerns about it. At present, the largest city in terms of population in Kuala Lumpur, which is home to around 1.31 million inhabitants. Which is still relatively small, considering that the entire population of Malaysia amounts to around 31 million. Malaysia is also home to several urban areas, and there are three other urban areas with more than 500,000 inhabitants.
Malaysian cities, particularly Kuala Lumpur, are less dense than cities in the rest of East Asia. This implies that dealing with and limiting sprawl will be difficult. As the urban transformation continues, there is still an opportunity to strike an equitable, compact and sustainable balance between urban and rural settlements. Rapid urbanization has its problem, they are largely focused on the social and environmental aspects and can be alleviated by encouraging city dwellers to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, creating more jobs in the rural areas, and population management.
An urban center means huge numbers of people live and work in that one area. That creates environmental issues due to the increased pollution and strain on the local waste management system. Local government initiatives to manage waste include encouraging city dwellers, reuse and recycle plastics, glass, aluminum, and fabric. The use of renewable energy like solar panels and mass public transportation systems as well as promoting the use of green fuel are other ways to reduce the environmental impact of rapid urbanization.
Figure Malaysia urbanization 2010-2020 Statista
From 2010 to 2020, this statistic depicts Malaysia’s level of urbanization. The share of a country’s urban population in the total population is referred to as urbanization. In 2020, urban areas and cities housed 77.16 percent of Malaysia’s total population.
A thriving national economy requires thriving towns and cities. The convergence of economic and human resources fosters innovation and development in business, science, technology, and industry. People in cities have greater access to education, health care, social services, and cultural activities than those in villages. Because of better access to health care, child mortality rates in cities are higher than in rural areas. The density of urban populations makes it easier and more affordable for the government and utilities to provide essential goods and services. For example, the provision of basic services such as clean water and electricity can be accomplished with less effort and at a lower cost per person. Cities establish schools, colleges, and universities to develop human resources. A wide range of educational courses is available, providing students with a diverse set of options for their future careers. Cities bring people from all walks of life and religions together to live and work, which fosters greater understanding and harmony and aids in the dismantling of social and cultural barriers. Cities have sophisticated communication and transportation networks as well.
These numerous advantages of city living, however, do not apply to everyone. Urban sprawl is the result of rapid population increase and unplanned expansion, which has negative economic, social, and environmental effects. In Ethiopia, the rate of urban growth frequently exceeds the capacity of local and national governments to provide even the most basic services to urban residents, such as housing, water supply, sewerage, and solid waste disposal.
The urbanization process has both positive and negative economic and social changes. Economic development and education are two of the positive effects. However, urbanization puts a strain on existing social services and infrastructure. The negative effects of urbanization include crime, prostitution, drug abuse, and street children. In addition, there is a lack of social support for children in school and at home from their hardworking, often impoverished, parents. Inadequate income, overcrowded housing, and deplorable living conditions create a fertile ground for the development of violence. Cities have more visible violent crime than rural areas, and it interferes with people’s daily lives, movements, and use of public transport. Crime in the city can create a sense of insecurity among its residents. This sense of insecurity in city streets divides residential areas into higher- and lower-income groups, reducing the sense of community and creating communities with disparate incomes, costs, and levels of security.
Creating more job opportunities in rural areas would encourage more people in rural areas to stay where they are instead of moving to a city. People would then be able to work in their place of birth. Tourism-related jobs at historical sites in the countryside, homestay, or lodging options could offer employment that is not city-based. Better connectivity and infrastructure would also allow for the possibility of another job that could be carried out online or remotely. This improves the quality of life for a small town or country dwellers who can get the best of both worlds. Population management in urban centers may be necessary to ease the strain of rapid urbanization. Some urban dwellers may already be practicing some form of family planning based on their financial situation. Some will only have one or two children because they want to be sure the family can afford to pay for the child’s education. It might be an idea to waive tax relief for fourth children onwards, for example. Family and financial planning services could be offered by various agencies to encourage family planning, which would help manage the urban population.
Urbanization brings undeniable benefits to the people as well as the country, but it also has negative consequences. The problem of rapid urbanization can be addressed by encouraging urban dwellers to adopt environmentally sustainable lifestyles, creating more job opportunities in rural areas, and population management.
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