Ayesha Latif, Green Blogger

Urbanization is the movement of people from rural to urban areas with population growth linked to urban migration. It is the expansion of urban regions as a consequence of global change.Urban sprawl, can be defined as the rapid peripheral growth of cities, and is criticized in terms of leading problems such as occupying cultivated areas and environment, increasing transport costs, and transforming city centers into decayed areas and removing away many advantages provided by natural open spaces.

Urbanization growth is contributing in environment problems  as  current population growth had led to famine areas where food production cannot keep pace with increasing number of people. Political interest in are with great disparities in the availability of resources (job, managed agricultural ecosystem and destruction effect of exploitation of natural resources good and food) environment degradation (erosion, desertification) water pollution by human and industrial waste. Air pollution caused by the human need to use energy for personal and industrial application, extinctions caused by people converting natural ecosystem (strip mining, oil spills, ground water mining) several factors interact to determine the impact of an urbanization in the resources of its country.

Pakistan is among the most urbanized countries of South Asia. Pakistanis are flocking to cities faster than any other country in South Asia, with an urban population growing three percent per year. It is estimated that more than half of Pakistan’s projected 250 million citizens are expected to live in cities, by 2030, The main drivers of Pakistan’s urban growth are high birth rates and migration from rural areas. Migrants are attracted to cities for improved access to basic facilities and better jobs.

Urbanization has exaggerated Pakistan’s biggest cities so rapidly that they struggle to distribute public services and create productive jobs. Meanwhile urban poverty is rising to that level, with one in eight urban dwellers living below the poverty line. As a result, Pakistan’s cities add much less to the economy compared to other developing countries. Pakistani cities inhabited by 38 percent of the population which make up around 55 percent of total GDP.

According to the World Bank, Pakistan’s urbanization is also ‘messy and hidden’: Messy in the sense that it  is in low-density sprawl and hidden as cities grow beyond administrative boundaries to include ‘peri urban’, which are densely populated rural areas and outer edge not officially designated as cities. Peri urban areas today are estimated to make up to 60 percent of urban Pakistan. Such urbanization without an accompanying shift in economic patterns does not bode well.

Without better urban planning to accommodate rapid growth, cities have the potential to become hotbeds of discontent and unrest rather than engines of growth and innovation. so sustainable urban management is the need of hour in Pakistan.

About the Author: Ayesha Latif is a enthusiastic green blogger and a student of environment at GCWUS.