Urban trends in developing countries Essay

Published: 2020-02-03 19:40:36
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The urban trends in the worlds poorest countries have recorded an impressive growth in the last few decades. As a continuous process, urbanization in many developing countries is attributed to a number of factors. These include population growth, transformation of rural areas into small towns, poverty and unemployment, environmental degradation, lack of the basic infrastructure, increasing international immigration among others (Cohen, 2006, p 7). In Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, the history of urbanization dates back to the colonial era.

Historical causes and factors like over population in the rural areas of the country led to an increased mobility of people with an expectation of urban development. As well, increased trade which favored some geographical areas of the country led to urbanization in Nairobi. Subsequently, the administrative and industrial centers were favored by colonialists thus giving rise to improvement of infrastructure that encouraged urbanization in Kenyas capital city (Baker, 1989, p. 53)

In the year 1948, the total number of urban centers in the country was 17 with over 100,000 people. However, both the number of urban centers and size of population significantly increased by the year 1979 to 91 centers. Nairobi, with its low agricultural activities accounted for nearly 17. 8% of the total urban population during this year (Baker, 1989 p. 56). Currently, the population has doubled since 1978. It is also projected that the population will increase by 77% within 2007-2050 (Yin & Kent, 2008).

Among the implications of urbanization in Nairobi which grows approximately by 10% each year include an increased poverty, shortage of housing which has resulted to slums, inadequate transportation and infrastructure, water supply, increased danger of epidemic diseases, environmental degradation among others (NY, 1988).


Baker, J. (I989). Small Town Africa: Studies in rural-urban interaction. (pp. 53-56). Nordic Africa Institute, 1990. Cohen, B. (2006). Urbanization in developing countries: Current trends, future projections, and key challenges for sustainability.Retrieved October 25, 2008 from http://www7. nationalacademies. org/dbasse/Cities_Transformed_World_Technolo gyInSociety_Article. pdf. New York Times. (1988). Nairobi slum: Urbanization as a cancer. Retrieved October 25, 2008 from http://query. nytimes. com/gst/fullpage. html? res=940DE7D71F38F93AA35755C0 A96E948260 Yin, S. & Kent, M. (2008). Kenya: The demographics of a country in turmoil. Retrieved October 25, 2008 from http://www. prb. org/Articles/2008/kenya. aspx

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