In GCSE Geography students will look at urbanisation. This quiz looks at some of the causes of urbanisation ('push' and 'pull' factors), some of the problems associated with urbanisation (such as transport and housing) and some of the methods used to tackle them (like congestion charges and brownfield development).
In early prehistory humans began to specialise. Instead of each individual feeding their family, building their home and making their tools, people began making goods and trading them for food and other goods. No longer having to tend their own land, they were able to move closer to other people and continue to trade for goods. Gradually, urban centres developed and the first cities appeared in the Near and Middle East.
Urbanisation is defined as the "proportion of people living in built environments such as towns and cities". The word 'proportion' in this context is important. To define if an area is urban or rural we have to examine the numbers living in urban environments, or rural environments. Some parts of the world now have more people living in cities than rural areas, although interestingly, some studies show that this trend can reverse. New technologies and increased personal safety mean there is no longer as great a need for people to live in close contact with others. This has lead to the semi-urban zones, such as commuter belts. This movement away from cities is known as counter-urbanisation. This is occurring in more economically advanced nations, whilst urbanisation is still happening in less economically advanced nations.
The two classes of factors that influence people to migrate are the 'pull' and 'push' factors. Cities have many factors that encourage people to move into them - these are pull factors, whilst rural areas have push factors that force people away. Natural population growth will also increase the population in cities.