Urban Problems

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Urban Problems

New Sociology

  • Slums and Squatters; Slums are characterized by unhygienic housing conditions that have deteriorated or deteriorated due to lack of care. Squatting mostly occurs on marginal land and steep slopes which are not good for development. These areas have been encroached upon by encroachers and have erected structures using plastic and old boards to shelter themselves.
  • Slums and slums develop in slums. Governments have different attitudes towards slums. Slum eradication was the rule of the day in the 1960s. Later in the 1970s it became clear that the kit was meaningless for demolishing informal settlements (slums and squats) as it depletes the housing stock. It is understood that owner occupied houses are well taken care of as compared to rented houses. So if the title deeds are given to the owners of informal houses. Slums will be reformed up to the level of municipalities. Therefore, the prevailing agreement is to create a slum upgradation program instead of demolishing the slums. On the contrary, there are those who argue that this will lead to anarchy.


  • Urbanization also has many problems like anomie, depression, crime, drug abuse, suicide and many other filth and vice. Counselors and psychotherapists became very important.


  • Vulnerability and dependence on modern technology. If there is a crisis of water supply or electricity, life in the entire city will come to a standstill. This is what happens if fuel is not available for a short period of time.



  • Water pollution- Fresh water is very scarce and polluted by modern technology like pesticides, mercury, lead etc.


  • Air pollution is also another serious problem. The air was polluted by the smoke of cars and industry. In some countries, electrified travel and cycling are encouraged to reduce maize pollution.


  • Solid and Liquid Waste Management- There is accumulation of waste materials, which causes environmental pollution. Organic waste can be recycled to produce compost and other useful products. The problem is that they are not recycled. Sewer problem is also a serious problem polluting the underground water.


  • Since land is not sought for development, they often escape the attention of municipal authorities. They may also develop in core areas during times of political transition. In Ethiopia they are called “Chereka Bet” and have different names in different countries. The settlers are poor who work in the informal sector. They do not have regular income and cannot pay the rent for the accommodation.


  • Transport – There are too many vehicles and too many goods. A large amount of city land is used for parking. Parking shops have been made in different parts of the cities. Inner and outer ring roads have been built to decongest Mecca. Various mechanisms such as roundabout traffic, zebra crossings, overpasses, underpasses, tube way systems, one W or two-way roads are used. Adjusting working hours or varying schooling hours is also used.


  • Another problem is finance – the revenue raised by municipalities is hardly enough to cover the costs of cities. A huge amount of investment is necessary to maintain the life of the city. Municipalities need grants and compete for investment.


  due to traffic jam


 Many people are working in CBD.


 Narrow streets.


 Shortage of parking spaces – Parking of vehicles on the side of the roads leads to congestion.


  • People are not using public transport – either because it is less convenient, too expensive or not available.


 More people own and use cars.





  1. Urban Sprawl – Reasons for increasing Sprawl:

1) Cities are continuously getting bigger.

2) People want to live in the suburbs.

3) Modern supermarket chains want to set up new stores on the edge of town.

4) The land is cheap and there is space for a large car park.

5) Ring roads and bypasses are built around cities.

6) All these developments have meant that more countryside and agricultural land has been lost.

7) A solution? Declare a ‘green-belt’ around the urban areas. (Where development is not permitted).



  1. Urban Decay (When parts of a city decline and become undesirable to live in.)

It causes economic, social and environmental problems.






Examples of urban decay:


  1. a) Slum House – with toilets outside and overcrowding.
  2. b) Many buildings are poorly constructed and now have leaking roofs, broken windows and crumbling walls.
  3. c) Vacant buildings are demolished.
  4. d) Since the factory and the residence are in the same area; Air, noise and water pollution are common.


Urban regeneration:

Redevelopment and renovation of existing homes is underway in many urban centers to improve the environment and economy such as:

 New Roofs.

 Repair of houses and fitting in modern facilities.

 Improvement of environment by landscaping.

 Clubs and medical centers like

Creating/improving social facilities.

 To encourage setting up of new businesses and industries in areas with grants and loans.

Ethiopian urbanization and urban centers

Starting from ancient times, Ethiopian urbanization is characterized by nomadic capitals starting from north to south. Axum_Lalibela_Gondar Shoa Various scholars with different professional backgrounds have contributed articles on Ethiopian urbanization.

Mesfin w/ Mariam = Some Aspects of Urbanization in Ethiopia in the Early Twentieth Century

Akalu w/Michael = Urban Development in Ethiopia

Jean Comhair = Urban Development in Relation to the Development of Ethiopia Roland J. Horvath = The process of urban agglomeration in Ethiopia Mesfin w/ Mariam:

Mesfin believes that there were some beginnings of urbanization in Ethiopia in the past and these beginnings were relatively short-lived due to some geographical and socio-cultural factors. This ancient country never had a permanent capital city. The three major capitals – Axum, Lalibela and Gondar are only brief episodes in the country’s long history.


  1. a) There was a general lack of urbanization except for a few ephemeral urban centers
  2. B) Continuity of urbanization

According to Mesfin, three factors are responsible for this lack of sustained urbanisation.

  1. Physical
  2. Social
  3. Political

Physical Factors: The difficult topography of the country hinders contact between people and transport and communication become difficult. The country’s location in relation to other countries was also not favorable for centuries, Ethiopia did not have effective incentives from its surrounding neighbors, who were poor or impoverished.

Social constraints: Due to the isolation of people imposed by material constraints, society had a negative view of important occupational groups: masons, blacksmiths, weavers, potters and merchants who possessed whatever skills.

Political Obstacle: There was lack of peace in the country. There were frequent regional wars and cities were transferred from one place to another.

Akalu w/Michael:

Akalu argues that the urbanization of Ethiopia before the twentieth century is closely linked to the rise of political capitals. Until the last quarter of the 19th century, urbanization was a cyclical rather than a cumulative phenomenon. Political capitals were constantly changing due to:

  1. Scarcity of Natural Resources (Food, Wood, Water)


  1. Historical factors (dynastic changes, tribal and religious wars, external conflicts

During the first quarter of the 20th century, the process of urbanization began to be cumulative during the rule of Menelik II. The important contributory factors for the new trend of urbanization during this period were

  1. Territorial Expansion
  2. Development of a new system of administration
  3. Development of communication and commerce
  4. Territorial Expansion- By 1909, Minilk was able to bring all the southern, western and eastern regions under his control, resulting in Ethiopia nearly tripling in size.

As the country expanded, garrisons were established in all of the newly incorporated territories geographically. overtime in garri

Sons become permanent urban settlements.

Sons become permanent urban settlements.

Sons become permanent urban settlements.

Sons become permanent urban settlements.

Sons become permanent urban settlements.

  1. Gorre, Nekemat, Beko etc.
  2. Development of a new system of administration: Between 1889 and 1925, Minilik was able to create modern bureaucratic organs such as the Central Administration Department. The country was divided into the smallest administrative units, which were ruled by nobles and military chiefs, who were subordinate to the emperor. This achievement of the state’s bureaucracy and administration system helped in the growth of urban centres.


Value Of Urban Sociology 


Today’s metropolises in advanced countries are standard bearers of revolutionary changes in social, political, economic and cultural movements. Due to industrialization and technological change, the process of urbanization has become very fast in advanced countries. That urbanization has also given rise to many economic, social and cultural problems.

As a result of urbanization, there has been a change in personal attitudes and trends, there has been a change in the norms and standards of marriage and family




has gone through a sea-change and corruption and disorganization have increased significantly. It has also given rise to serious problems of health, psychological as well as physical.

To understand and remedy this sorry state of affairs, we turn to a systematic study. And because the problems are serious and important, governments are paying close attention to them. In this context, the need of urban sociology is felt.

An urban sociologist is a social physician or engineer and, like doctors and engineers, is concerned with the organization and disorganization of urban society. Therefore, without their services, urban problems cannot be solved effectively. Thus there is a great demand for the services of urban sociologists. The services of urban sociologists are indispensable for the reconstruction of the city.

New Sociology


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