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Voiceover: In it's simplest sense, urbanization is the movement of people from rural areas to urban areas. So, what are the difference between rural and urban? Well, a rural area is anywhere that has less than 1,000 people per square mile. So, think farm country or Alaska, if you're looking for somewhere remote. Any rural settlement has to have less than 25 hundred residence, otherwise, it's put into the urban category. Urban areas include cities and towns that have at least 1,000 people per square mile. From here, it gets interesting. There are a bunch of different levels of urban areas as you get more and more people living there. Cities have 50 thousand people or more. If the urban area grows to more than 500 thousand people, then it's classified as a metropolis. Kind of sounds like something from Superman. Don't you think? Then, if you get a bunch of metropolises that are all connected and grown into each other, that's called a megalopolis or a mega city. There's a megalopolis that includes New York City, running from Boston to Washington DC that has over 44 million people living in the sprawling urban complex. There are a few major theories about urbanization in cities. If you take a functionalist perspective, you could see that cities have many important functions, but they also have their dysfunctions. They are slice of culture and promote diverse populations, but they're also host to crime and other disruptions to society. According to conflict theory, cities are sources of any quality that are mainly entertainment center for the wealthy. Political and economical lead run the city to increase their personal resources, while taking from the poor. The diversity of cultures in social backgrounds just increases conflict over beliefs and values. If you look from a symbolic [interaction] in view point, you can see the positive side of cities rather than a chaotic place. Cities are places where people have a different way of looking at life. They are strong cultural values, and the people of different interactions and perspectives of urban life. Where they are strong norms and values. All right, so, we know what an urban area is, and a few of the major theories about urbanization. Let's look at why people want to move to urban areas. What's so great about cities that people flock to them? Well initially, urbanization began during the industrial revolution mainly because of the major improvements and technology. People were loosing their jobs on the farms during the industrialization to machines. So, the people had to move to cities to find work and housing, causing the urban areas to grow. The cities were made possible because of better construction techniques and improved utilities like water and power and transit. All of this made it easier to build cities than ever before. Today, a lot of the same reasons still apply for people moving out of rural areas, reason such as, more job opportunities and improved utilities. There are better services or perhaps more options for education and transportation, and faster access to medical help. The increase in population has also forced people to move to cities to find new places to work and live, because there just isn't enough land for everyone to farm. As more and more people move into cities and away from rural areas, you really have to look at the effects of so many people living in such close quarters. There are many positives like the wide variety of culture you can get in one place, or the [amenity] an individual can obtain in a big city. There're also some negative effects on the people who live there. With such a high density of people living in cities, you have to be aware of crowding. Crowding is a feeling that there is too little space or too many people. Some cities can have a high density but not feel crowded, depending on the situation. Unlike a small town where everyone know everyone, in a city there's just too many people to form those close connections. But as human beings, we crave that sense of belonging to a community. So, we join groups and create small pocket communities within a larger population of the city. We do yoga, or go to the same sports bar, or visit the same dance club every Friday. Individuals began to fall into categories, because of what kind of connections they are looking for in the city, and what communities they form. You've got the cosmopolites, who are people drawn to the city for it's cultural benefits and overall convenience, like students, artists, entertainers, and intellectuals. Then, you've got the singles, who are looking for jobs, partners, and entertainment. You have the deprived and trapped, who just can not afford to leave the city. These are the unemployed, elderly, homeless, or poor, who collect or make just enough money to get by day-to-day, but not enough to actually leave the city. Then, there are the ethnic villages, which are often the most obvious to spot, because the people there bring their native culture with them when the immigrate. They settle together with people who have similar backgrounds and create a community that looks like their home. This is how we get Chinatown, Little Italy, and all the other culture microcosms in big cities. Sometimes, communities are planned into the design of a urban area. Urban villages are designed to their residence who live there can work, live, and recreate all in the same area. They often promote biking or walking, because of how close everything is. They help to facilitate community interactions. You get people out walking, and living, and working near each other. They are more likely to form a stronger community. Sometimes, those connections aren't enough. Many people move out to the fringes of cities where they can have their own home instead of living in apartments. Where they can have a yard and a picket fence, instead of cramped quarters with common walls. This small movement away from cities is called sub-urbanization, which is where we get the term suburbs. This is what became the classic American dream. Even suburban life has its own problems. Usually, the commute into the city for work is quiet time consuming, and it can be more difficult to have quick medical help than if you're living in the city proper. Sometimes, the suburban areas build their own economic centers and begin to become independent of the city they border. Silicon Valley, for example, has turned to into one of these edge cities. When tech companies bought up cheap land on the outskirts of San Jose, which created an independent economic center in the former suburb. Sometimes, the suburban areas don't turn out as well as they could have, because there's no real plan involved. Think Atlanta. People bought up land [willy nilly] resulting in an urban sprawl spreading out in the city. As people move out of the city centers, the city [unintelligible] disrepair, a process know as urban decline. Buildings are abandoned and unemployment and crime can rise as the population of the city itself changes. Even beyond the suburbs, can be areas known as exurbs. Areas like the woodlands near Huston, Texas, or Rochester outside of Detroit. These are often very prosperous areas outside the city where people live, and then commute into the city for work, similar to suburbs. Instead of spreading outward, some people try to redevelop areas of the city itself into something nicer, safer, better planned. This is called urban renewal. It sounds great, the idea of revamping parts of the city that are old or falling apart, and for some people it really is. It can lead to gentrification, which means when these areas of the city are redone, they tend to target a wealthier community, which increases property values. The people who live there before the redevelopment are often pushed out, because they just can't afford the property anymore. This often leads to buckets of any qualities in inner city. Recently, there has been an interesting phenomenon of rural rebound, where people are getting sick of the cities and are moving back out to rural areas. These are people who can afford to leave the city, and who are looking for a simpler and slower life. Most of the rural resettlement happens relatively near urban centers. So, the residents can still have the convenience of the big city. Another place people will move is to rural areas that are very scenic. So, while urbanization is just the movement of people from rural areas to urban, its effects are much more widespread, both on the people who live in the cities, and the development of the cities themselves. People seek new ways to find community and enjoy the freedoms and benefits of the city life, along with its difficulties and dangers. Urban development spread outward from economic centers and sometimes form new economic centers, or slowly merge with nearby cities to form massive urban areas linked geographically, economically, and socially.