Many relationships exist between the urban and rural areas; these linkages are what drive economic, social and cultural transformations.Urban areas are very important to rural areas, many of the problems of urbanization, which stand in the way of sustainable development, are linked to the relationship between urban and rural areas. For example, issues relating to transport, housing, landscape, water, and waste all involve the links between urban and rural areas. Hence, solutions to these problems can easily be identified through the linkages that exist between urban and rural areas.
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Differences between urban and rural settlements
Definition of Urban
Urban area is a human settlement with dense population; this area is developed throughincreasing migrants (urbanization) who initially moved from rural and dispersed settlement to the town. An urban area is an area with clustered residential building, commercial structures, tarred roads, railways, power supply, factories and offices. Agricultural activities are low in such areaand it is categorized byurban morphologysuch ascities,towns andsuburbs.
Definition of Rural
A rural area is an opposite of urban area- this is a settlement with dispersed houses and low population density, having large expanse of undeveloped land with few infrastructures. This settlement is far away from the urban centres and it is commonly known for its agricultural activities; the houses in rural settlements are arranged in circular pattern, dispersed pattern, or in linear pattern, depending on the location. Farmland, hamlet and village categorize rural settlement.
- Agricultural produce– Rural areas are mostly involved in agricultural production, some of the crops produce in rural areas include rice, beans, yam, groundnuts, cassava, fruits of different kinds and vegetables. However, there is high demand of these produce due to expansion of urban populations, which result to increase in agricultural production. In addition, majority of these crops are usually transported to manufacturing companies in the urban areas to be cleaned and processed into edible products; after these have been processed, they are then conveyed back to the rural buyers who then sell them to the inhabitants. These interactions help producers to know how markets operate, including price fluctuations and what consumers prefer to buy.
- Labour– Rural dwellers are skilled labours that are often hired by city dwellers to work in many factories and construction sites in the urban areas, more of these workforces include men and women. These urban services create job opportunities for many rural dwellers.
- Retirement – Rural area is most times considered as a quiet and a natural environment for the aged ones, most civil servants when they are old and have retired from service, often consider relocating from the urban areas which is more congested and noisy to join the rural dwellers. They usually do this- for convenience sake, simplicity and comfort and to be acquainted with the natural environment, which they once knew.
- Urban areas are well developed and they have so many amenities and infrastructures such as high schools, universities, skill and acquisition centres, and companies. These physical infrastructures are of great benefit to the rural youths who may want to further their educations or learn new skills. These encourage the rural youth to migrate to the city for the purpose of skill acquisition and self-development and it therefore give room for self-exposure.
- Cities and towns are often created to benefiting all classes of people- the high class, middle class and the low class individuals. Take for instance, Lagos city is place with high population of people from various parts of Nigeria, but there are some specific places, which are occupied by the very rich, such places include the Victoria Island, Lekki and Banana Island. However, other parts of the Lagos exist such as Ajekunle, Ikorodu, Oshodi, Mushin, Agege and Surulere. These are less developed areas with poor, infrastructures and settlement patterns; houses here are at low cost and the foodstuffs are affordable and are able to accommodate both middle class and the very poor population. Majority of people leaving in Lagos are people who migrated from rural areas in search skills, businesses and Jobs, hence these still explains the interdependency that exist been rural areas and urban areas.
- Communication network– the establishment and improvement of transport network linking the urban and rural areas play a vital role in connecting urban markets to rural producing regions. This linkage has also created a lot of economic and social development in this area.
- Security – many urban dwellers are people who moved to city to acquire wealth and fame. They usually retain their key assets in rural areas for instance, a rich man leaving in the city may decide to use his money to build hospital, school, market or industry, lands and livestock to develop or benefit of his people leaving in the rural area. These assets are usually place in care of the rural dwellers to protect them from dilapidation, theft and damages. This in turn brings in modernization and allows the rural inhabitants have access to schools, health and social facilities right at their doorposts, since urban facilities are not at their reach or not affordable.
- Political administration– urban and rural interaction are also seen in political dimension, issues are not only handled at the national level, but at the rural level too. The government usually set up political heads at the local level to settle differences among the village communities. This set up also allows the rural dwellers to have access to many different branches of government including access to justice and many public services to help handle disputes, complaints and see to the need of rural dwellers; only in cases of difficult situations that their issues are transferred to national level for a better handling.
- Socialization-there is also an interaction between the urban and rural areas in terms of internet access, ICT, railways, and water supply, schools and health facilities established in the rural society. These help to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of people living in the village settlement, including the relatively isolated and sparsely populated areas.
- Money and fame– international migrants usually sent home income raised from construction and businesses they do outside the large cities, this income in turn attracts rural migrants to the urban centres and further contribute to processes of urbanisation.
Dr. Brown is the founder of Jotscroll, he is a Medical Doctor, Entrepreneur, and author. Dr. Razi Brown holds a medical degree from the University of San Diego. He has invested in many startups and is currently working on his fifth book to be published in the upcoming year.