The urban environment and population relocation


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This report provides a new perspective to the nature of urban sprawl and its causes and environmental, social and economic consequences. This perspective, which is based on the multi-dimensionality of urban sprawl, sets the foundations for the construction of new indicators to measure the various facets of urban sprawl. The report uses new datasets to compute these indicators for more than urban areas in 29 OECD countries over the period It then relies on cross-city, country-level and cross-country analyses of these indicators to provide insights into the current situation and evolution of urban sprawl in OECD cities.

In addition, the report offers a critical assessment of the causes and consequences of urban sprawl and discusses policy options to steer urban development to more environmentally sustainable forms. Urban Sprawl — Definition and measurement 2 chapters available.

Consequences of urban sprawl and implications for policy makers 2 chapters available. What exactly is urban sprawl and how can it be measured? One marker of economic development is the improvement in financial infrastructures. If one can move money across international borders, then the ease with which one can be a new migrant and remain a connected member of the origin community and household rises. While there have been efforts to account for the value of international flows of remittances, there is little understanding of whether improvements in financial infrastructure help generate and support migration in the first place.

Data coming from various field sites suggest that the conventional demographic profile of the rural-urban migrant may be shifting as well. Migrants are still young. While many are male and single, there seems to be an increasing fraction of migrants who are female and a larger pool of family migrants. The work on Mexican migration to the United States finds substantial fractions of females in the migratory flow, fractions that increase with time. Our own work in Ghana challenges the notion that migrants are detached from families in the destination.

What we need to know more about is the timing of the movements of family members. It is probably the case that frontier or first-wave migration is predominantly young single males, but how exactly the stream is altered after that is not well known. The second major impetus for the New Migration is economic restructuring. Many countries have reoriented their economies in the direction of more free market activity. To argue that this trend is universal or that the movement is to an unfettered marketplace would be silly.

Nevertheless, in several important ways the shift is on, and population distribution is a manifest component of this shift. The most notable case is China. Where once all residence was controlled by registration permit or hukou , the years since market reform have enabled individuals to relocate to areas of economic opportunity. This has created a huge pool --a "floating population" in the tens of millions of persons -- living apart from their place of formal registration. While often referred to as "temporary" migrants, the length of residence in destination can now approach several years.

Considerable controversy swirled about the motivations of these temporary migrants including the claim that women were moving to avoid the structures of the one-child family planning policy , but the migration seems to be economically driven. This kind movement, a migration problem, in the wake of the relaxation of strictures on economic activity and hocusing has been seen in other settings as well. Viet Nam is now going through a process similar to that experienced by China.

While residence registration was never as strictly controlled as in China, the economic restructuring Doi Moi has generated internal migration. In Ethiopia the fall of the Derg and its more authoritarian and socialist ways ushered in a period of economic relaxation.

Moving Towards Sustainable Cities

This loosening not only lets people move to new locations often back to older villages they were forced to abandon , but also generates differential economic growth by region, producing labor force opportunities to which workers respond. Even in economies without government restrictions on residence and movement, there have been patterns of population movement that are similar in many respects.

The undocumented movement of the Mexican origin population to the United States and parallel movement of former colonial populations to high-income economies of Europe have created similar floating populations, each with its own stamp for the particular migratory flow and condition of reception in the host society. Again, "temporary" migration is sometime sustained by circulation, at some risk of being caught, and rarely is temporary or guest-worker migration, in fact, temporary. Circulation may be substituting for return.

The evidence from Ghana indicates that the country's pursuit of structural adjustment has resulted in substantial shifts in regional activity, even as the overall growth of economic activity outpaces other sub-Saharan African nations. In the age-old way this induced movement, directed differentially to some urban areas.


  1. Introduction to Population, Urbanization, and the Environment.
  2. EconPapers: The Urban Environment and population Relocation.
  3. Handbook of Imagination and Mental Simulation!

Migration's Consequences Migration from rural to urban areas generates a series of concerns, including worries about environmental stress and social adaptation of the migrants themselves. Since migration feeds urbanization, and since urban growth is associated with industrial development pollution and land consumption, migration is often held culpable in environmental degradation.

Urban Parking as Economic Solution

Although the link is there, it is not clear how strong that link is. Direct public policies regarding environmental conditions, the underlying infrastructure for transportation, and the national level of income may have much more to say about the amount of insult visited upon the environment than the amount of rural-urban migration per se. As income rises, so does consumption of consumer goods, transportation, and land. These all can lead to more pollution and sprawl in any country.

But as the level of income rises so does the demand for a cleaner local environment, and so there is an element of feedback in all of this. There is another demographic component of the comparison. It is useful to remember that a large fraction, maybe nearly half, of urban growth is generated just by natural increase of the urban population.

Thus, stemming urbanward migration will not stem urban growth. This reminds us that in the absence of migration but in the presence of positive population growth rates, there is more "population pressure" in both urban and rural areas. Migration may be more implicated than its true demographic contribution would warrant.

Not that theincreasingly intensive use of rural and quasi-rural areas can lead to soil erosion, deforestation, and the like. This might lead one to call for stronger emphasis on fertility reduction measures, but the demographic community seems somewhat agnostic about the empirical connection between population growth and environmental conditions. The other major area of concern in urbanward migration is that of the absorption of migrants into the host community.

Migrants have always generated apprehension about their ability to mix into the receiving society. Migrants are seen as adapting slowly or not at all. Empirical evidence runs counter to this. In many studies of immigrant adaptation in the United States, the first generation exhibits substantial differences from the native population along socioeconomic lines: income, education, language ability, etc.

By the second generation, however, differences are narrowed considerably. Even if one does not adjust for background characteristics, the second generation gap is modest compared to the first generation gap. But when one does adjust for the usually lower level of resources for members of the second generation, the gap narrows even more. Work with nationally representative longitudinal data on immigrant achievement in school illustrates the point. Once we control for family characteristics parental presence and supervision, socioeconomic status and starting point in school, the trajectory of subsequent school achievement does not differ for immigrant children.

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The urban environment and population relocation | UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI LIBRARY

Interestingly we find a closing of the gap among migrants to Kumasi, Ghana. The first generation has lower status than members of the indigenous group in the same residential area, but members of the second generation show very little shortfall at all. In a parallel vein we find a process of occupational adaptation that differentiates the first generation more than the second.


  • Interlinking of Computer Networks: Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Study Institute held at Bonas, France, August 28 – September 8, 1978;
  • The urban environment and population relocation (English) | The World Bank.
  • THE JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEMS STAR.
  • Stochastic Finance: An Introduction in Discrete Time.
  • Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Studies (ISSN: 2321 - 2799);
  • Market adjustment in China generated a huge flow of persons, both officially recognized and documented and "temporary" or undocumented. Despite the observation of migrants on streetcorners and under bridges latter day hiring halls , the evidence again is that migrants are driven by economic considerations. The claim was made in China that female migrants to the city were motivated by a desire to avoid the family planning policies enforced in their origin community.

    In fact such rural-urban migrants were found to have birth rates no higher than urban natives of the same educational level and age. Here again, migrants were not out of line with expectation; they had come for jobs and merged into the urban fabric. Concluding Policy Considerations There are several policy implications of this redistribution, but I will concentrate on just three points. Migration is Only Part of the Picture As we have discussed migration accounts for roughly half of urban growth in most developing country cities.

    Most demographic analyses confirm that overall urban growth rates are closely ties to national population growth rates.

    Urbanisation and Migration: An Analysis of Trends, Patterns and Policies in Asia

    Declining fertility rates overall will help reduce urban population pressure. High income economies experience the mirror image effect. Most of these nations have very low rates of natural increase.

    Changing with the times

    Consequently international migration contributes a substantial fraction of total year-to-year national population growth. The lesson is that it is important to have the comparative framework clear when making assertions about the impact of migration. Informal Migration is a Broad-based phenomenon Undocumented, circulate, and temporary migration is now a world-wide phenomenon. It exists as internal migration in some restructuring economies such as in China but also appears as international migrant flows in other settings such as Mexican origin migration to the United States. It is useful for policy-makers to think about the parallels in these movements, rather than concentrate only on the differences.


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