Effects Of Urbanization On Environment And Society Cultural Studies Essay

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With the development of human society, we have a new word, urbanization. It is the process of transforming a modern rural society which relies mainly on agriculture to a modern urban society which relies mainly on industry and service. Urbanization has become an inevitable trend. This essay will explain the positive effects of urbanization outweigh the negative ones of urbanization.

The city is the symbol of humanity civilization and the center of economics, political and social life. It is associated with humanity civilization and progress. In ancient times, human began to settle in communities; with the development of industry and commerce, cities emerged to rise and urban civilization began to spread. In fact, at that time, the size of the city was small, because the surrounding countryside formed a small unit, they are relatively close. The real meaning of city is the product of the development of industry and commerce. Milan, Venice and Paris in the 13th century were all the centers of the important business and trade. After Industrial Revolution, urbanization accelerated its steps. As farmers flocked to the new industrial center, the city received an unprecedented development (city, 2010).

Take Hangzhou, the writer's hometown, for example. It goes through several developmental periods. It has many famous historic and cultural sites and a long history. Now Hangzhou has became a famous international city and the economic center of the Yangtze River Delta. But in ancient times, it was just a shallow bay. The ancients opened the canal, built the defending seawall, dredged the West Lake, dug water walls, renovated the Qian tang River and developed the ocean shipping. In the Southern Song Dynasty, the economy was flourishing as never before: the handicraft industry was developed, the market was thriving and the population accelerated at fast speed. At that time, Hangzhou became the biggest city in the world. After the opium wars, Hang Zhou went on a lopsided development and modernized road, under the oppression of the western gunboat policy. In the early 20th century, industrialization and modernization in Hangzhou was also staggering.

Now it has become a famous international city and a sub-economic center of the Yangtze River Delta. On October 2002, the municipal government according to the concept about building a new heaven made adjustments decision on the administrative divisions of Hangzhou. The concept of the decision is incorporating the two suburban county-level cities of Xiaoshan and Yuhang into the urban area. On March 25th, 2001, Yuhang District and Xiaoshan District were established. Hangzhou expands from 683 square kilometers to 3068 square kilometers, with its area expanding four times than before and the population increasing to 3730000. In the country's sub-provincial cities, the rank of the area rose from the last place to the fifth, the rank of the population rose from the thirteenth to the sixth. Hangzhou became a big city after Shanghai in the Yangtze River Delta. The establishment of Xiaoshan District and the Yuhang District makes the city centre move from the West Lake to the Yangtze River. From then on, "the West Lake Times" transformed to "the Yangtze River Times", which provides a strategic opportunity and greatly enhances Hangzhou's radiation function. After the establishment of Yuhang District and Xiaoshan District, according to a strategic goal about building a new city and a new heaven, Hangzhou established a city building project whose concept is "city expansion, traveling west and exploitation of the Yangtze River". It has an important significance on raising the level of urbanization, optimizing the urban layout, adjusting the structure of industry, improving urban quality and competitiveness, strengthening the status of Hangzhou and promoting the new century further and realizing modernization (The major adjustments, 2001). With four Qiantang River Bridges building up, Hangzhou is associated well with Yuhang and Xiaoshan. The bridges made traffic convenient for people.

Urbanization raises the level of people's life, enhances their living quality and improves the development level of humanity society. Urbanization precipitates the formation of cities' culture. The Shaoxing Rice Wine is one kind of this culture. In ancient times, it was listed as tribute and reflected the thinking of the Confucian school. Now it is listed as a kind of wine for state banquet. In some festivals, friends and relatives present it as a gift to each other.

In the course of city expansion, they not only develop the culture but also promote economic growth. Shenzhen is a model city of economic development. After Deng Xiaoping, late Chinese leader, announced the policy of reforming and opening up. Shenzhen developed from a small fishing village to a modern international big city, which created the so called Shenzhen Speed. Since the establishment of the Special Economic Zones, Shenzhen has seen fast, healthy, economic growth. The country's Gross Domestic Product, social retail sales and total imports and exports have achieved first place in China. The total output in Shenzhen is same as that of half output of a medium province. Shenzhen is one of the cities that has the best economic benefits in Chinese mainland ( Tao Shuimu, 2010).

With the economic development, the demands for labour force grow higher. A large number of workers were attracted to the center. Many foreign specialists and returned students were drawn into the city. They promoted the development of Shenzhen. Shenzhen also has the biggest containers terminal, passenger traffic export and freight export. Communication technology, in addition, is developing at a fast speed.

Shenzhen has modern network of communication lines. It makes Shenzhen well connected with its surroundings. Hongkong is near Shenzhen, they are closely associated in history and nature. Over a long period of time, Shenzhen transports vegetables, meat, water and electricity to Hongkong, Shenzhen's main investment source is from Hongkong, while many companies of Shenzhen go to Hongkong's market. In July, 2010, the west thoroughfare between Shenzhen and Hongkong was built up, which shortens the distance between the two cities (Shenzhen, 2010).

Urbanization also promotes the communication between counties. The Shanghai Expo is a terrace of international communication and cooperation, increasing Chinese overall understand of the new economies and new ideas of new cities. It also shows Chinese advancement in economy, society, science and culture. It promotes the Chinese status in the world and stimulates human's scientific innovation. A new concept called Low Carbon, advocated in the Shanghai Expo will be incorporated into people's life.

The rich result that urbanization brings can not be denied. However, the process of urbanization is not all wonderful music, it has many faults, as well. Building cities creates many jobs; it attracted many migrant workers to cities. They make contribution to the development of the city. But in fact, their national treatment can not be realized and many workers' living qualities are very bad. The migrant workers' children have schooling problems, related to the advance of other countries. These problems have a negative impact on the development of cities and a cities' trustworthiness. Overpopulation puts pressure on housing, because many people are unable to afford the price of the houses. The soap opera called Dwelling reflected the social reality.

Overpopulation also leads to traffic congestion; congestion has become another big problem. It makes people's life inconvenient. The situation where more and more migrant workers go to cities to find jobs, leads to the shortage of labour force in rural area. It makes the output of the grain decrease. Our country's agricultural technology is not very advanced. Most of the farming work is done manually. Compared it with Americans in the USA, the labour force is not as large as ours, but their efficiency is much higher than ours.

To sum up, urbanization has positive impact on people, mostly. It promotes the economic and cultural communication between cities, accelerates the speed of the development and introduces advanced technology. In this way, the picture of "better city, better life" as the World Expo 2010 advocates, can be realized. In order to make it come true, the level of technology should be improved, the rules of the country should be improved and the quality of city's residents should be raised with the ever growing development of the city.

Reference List

City. (2010). Baidu Encyclopedia. Retrieved May 4, 2010, from http:// baike. Baidu.com/view/17820.htm

Shenzhen. (2010). Baidu Encyclopedia. Retrieved May 4, 2010, from http:// baike. Baidu.com/view/3329.htm

The major adjustments made by Hangzhou's administrative department: Xiaoshan and Yuhang are incorporated into Hangzhou. (2010, March 12). Xinhua. Retrieved May 4, 2010, from http:// www.sina.com.cn

Tao Shuimu. (2010). The formation of Hangzhou's feature in history and its impact on the development of Hangzhou. Retrieved May 4, 2010, from http://www.citysuc.com/wzny.asp

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