Types of Urbanisation

Types of Urbanisation 
Urban centres are towns, cities or a conurbation of both. Etymologically, the urban centre was first developed in the river lowlands of the Tigris, Euphrates, Indus and other sub-tropical rivers, and also in the Hwang Ho valley in China (Burnnett; 1973: 342). These towns or cities grew up because of the security and trade. The areas were productive enough to free some people for commerce and administration. Since then, towns or cities are often centres for administration, banking, commerce and education. A city is intimately connected with the area surrounding it. To be specific, urban centres are the product of man’s activities, places which later metamorphose to cities or conurbations. Urban centres can be classified into several ways; the three most useful features are in terms of location, function and size (hierarchy). They are: administrative, commercial/economic, historical/cultural and industrial. Having defined urbanisation and discussed its features in the first section of this course, the following types of urbanisation will be discussed in this unit. • Administrative urban centre • Commerce/economic urban centre • Historical/cultural urban centre • Industrial urban centre • Institutional/educational urban centre The Administrative Urban Centre: This could be the administrative headquarters of any state or nation; the seat of power, which is also called the capital city. Rural dwellers migrate to the administrative
centre in order to secure white-collar jobs and to explore any new available opportunities that are unavailable in the rural areas. It is mostly common in the developing countries today, due to rural neglect, in terms of the provision of amenities. Examples of administrative centres are: Abuja (Nigeria), Tokyo (Japan), Moscow (Russia), London (Britain), New York (USA) etc. The Commercial/Economic Urban Centre: This kind of city occupies a central position in a well settled location and becomes a route centre at which the region sends its local produce for sale. Often, it is situated between two regions with different products to exchange at the route centre. It is usually a well-populated region, due to rural-urban migration brought about by people’s desire to benefit from the economic transactions of that centre. Such a centre is also endowed with financial institutions that can help in facilitating business transactions. Examples are Kano and Lagos (Nigeria), Kumasi (Ghana), Alexandra (Egypt), Norwich (the United Kingdom) and Seremban (Malaysia). It can also be a direct foreign investments location, which attracts economic agglomeration. The movement to this kind of centre may be due to a large number of market input, outputs and labours. The Historical/Cultural Urban Centre: This historical urban centre attracts more people. Such could be a place which used to be a secured region in the past, but now endowed with more dense population, or a culturally endowed urban centre that attracts tourists. Sometimes it serves as a religious centre like Jerusalem (Israel), Mecca (Saudi, Arabia), Benanes (India), Canterbury (the United Kingdom), Lourdes (France), Abeokuta, Ibadan, Idanre, Ile-Ife, Oyo, Sokoto and Enugu (Nigeria). Most often, such urban centre types are very old and usually visited by pilgrims. The Industrial Urban Centre: This kind of urban centre is often endowed with manufacturing companies, either for the processing of raw materials or the production of finished goods. In addition, since the division of labour and specialisation mechanisms ensure the industrial growths and diversity that require more workers, both skilled and unskilled, the rural dwellers migrate to the industrial urban centre. The limited carrying capacity of an urban centre to absorb the surplus of rural migrants then creates problems. More importantly, the possibility of self-employment and the presence of private businesses also contribute to the rural -urban drift. The possible means of communication in the urban centre also contributes to rural-urban migration. Migrants are attracted to a city more for its overall economic potential than its salaries. Examples are Manchester and Leeds--- textile manufacture (the United Kingdom), Pittsburg (USA), Wuppertal and Duisburg (Germany), Lagos and Port Harcourt (Nigeria)
The Institutional/Educational Urban Centre: This kind is often associated with educational activities, where the massive rise of populations is as a result of academic pursuit. It is a region that has much concentration of schools, higher institutions and other higher learning centres. Examples are Ibadan (Nigeria), Oxford and Cambridge (the United Kingdom). It is the city where ideas and knowledge are transmitted or imbibed for development. It is the think tank or bedrock of any society. The Religious Urban Centre: There is no doubt that the more a soceity is civilised and modern, the more its secularity and irreligiosity. But the case of the urban religious centre is different; most of the world’s religions like Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc, flourish much more in the urban centres than they do in the rural areas. The link between urbanism and religioisity cannot be underestimated due to its originality, historical and dialectical emergece. Religions in many societies determined the choice and evolution of such urban settlements for centuries, and most of these cities are famous shrines and spritual centres that are designated and used for protection, instrument of political control, worship and other religious activities. Thus, for over a millennium, urbanisation has been the principal source and agency for the spreading of religions, particularly Christianity and Islam. For example, Islam took its root from towns and cities of Saudi Arabia, spread acorss the Red Sea to Trans-Saharan trade routes in central and western Africa, and later spread across the Africa continent. Religious hegemony can be seen in the character of many urban settlements such as peculiar Islamic architrectural structures and the way in which some settlements are segregated into various quarters. The Islamic brootherhood among urban ruling classes, merchants and town dewellers encourages urbanisation. On Christainity’s part, the concentration of churches in urban centres also entrenches urbanisation especially in recent times; the building of church revival camp settlements has strengthened this trend. According to Adewale (1979), the missionaries’ own pattern of evangelism was made up of a certain sociological dimension that was elite. They reached the common people through the important people in the social groups. They confined their evagelistic activities to the urban and industrial areas of the country by focusing on the elite, who could understand the language, theology and philosophy of their mission. They evangelised the highly intellectual in the urban centres, believing that the intellectuals would show more understanding and react more positively and morally than the rural dwellers, who could be aggressive, and very difficult to deal with. 
The concentration of the missionaries’ work encourages good health facilities, good communication and personal security, which give rise to the emergence of large urban centres. Religious urbanism leads to massive concentrations of people. Beyond this, there are issues of urbanism that encourage social, ethnic and linguistic attributes, and these usually turn such urban centres to a rendezvous and source of divergent ideas and beliefs. Religious urban centres have developed in several parts of the world, and many are visited by pilgrims on specific ocassions.Such religious urban centres are Jerusalem (Israel), Mecca (Saudi Arabia), Bengres (India), Canterbury (United kingdom), Lourdes (France), Lhasa (Tibet), etc. Resettlement and Satellite Towns: These are new towns that are deliberatelly built either as new manufacturing centres to relieve the congestion of the old urban centres or as places to re-house people who work in overcrowded urban centres. A resettlement town can also be a relocation of the state’s capital, due to congestion. There are numerous examples of such towns in the industrial countires and less in developed countries. Examples are Crawley (United Kingdom), Festac Town (Lagos,Nigeria), Abuja (Nigeria) Ajoda New Town (Ibadan, Nigeria), etc. Satatellite urban centres are usually created, due to the congestion and overpopulated nature of urban centres.  

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