A settlement is a general term used in archaeology, geography, landscape history and other subjects for a permanent or temporary community in which people live, without being specific as to size, population or importance. A settlement can therefore range in size from a small number of dwellings grouped together to the largest of cities with surrounding urbanized areas. The term may include hamlets, villages, towns and cities.

Human settlements are classified as rural or urban depending on the density of human-created structures and resident people in a particular area. Urban areas can include town and cities while rural areas include villages and hamlets.

Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. Urbanization is also defined by the United Nations as movement of people from rural to urban areas with population growth equating to urban migration. The United Nations projected that half of the world’s population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008.

Urbanization is closely linked to modernization, industrialization, and the sociological process of rationalization. Urbanization can describe a specific condition at a set time, i.e. the proportion of total population or area in cities or towns, or the term can describe the increase of this proportion over time. So the term urbanization can represent the level of urban relative to overall population, or it can represent the rate at which the urban proportion is increasing.

Urban areas are also classified according to land use and density of population. But this can vary from developed countries to developing countries. For example, in Australia, urban cities must include at least a 1,000 residents with 200 or more people per square kilometer while in Canada, an urban area is defined with a density of 400 people per square kilometer In China, the density requirement for an urban area is about 1,500 people per square kilometer Statistically, two urban areas with less than two kilometers between them are considered one urban zone.

Planning Sustainable Cities reviews recent urban planning practices and approaches discusses constraints and conflicts therein, and identifies innovative approaches that are more responsive to current challenges of urbanization. It notes that traditional approaches to urban planning (particularly in developing countries) have largely failed to promote equitable, efficient and sustainable human settlements and to address twenty-first century challenges, including rapid urbanization, shrinking cities and ageing, climate change and related disasters, urban sprawl and unplanned peri-urbanization, as well as urbanization of poverty and informality. It concludes that new approaches to planning can only be meaningful, and have a greater chance of succeeding, if they effectively address all of these challenges, are participatory and inclusive, as well as linked to contextual socio-political processes.

Urbanisation is responsible for many health challenges those related to water, environment, violence, injury, non-communicable diseases and other risk factors like tobacco and alcohol use and unhealthy diet. Keeping this in mind, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has given the theme of “Urbanisation and Health” for the World Health Day for 2010. “The theme is in recognition with the effects of urbanisation on our collective health globally and for us all individually. Over three billion people live in cities. In 2007, the world’s population living in cities crossed 50 per cent for the first time in history, and this proportion is growing. By 2030, six out of every 10 people will be city dwellers, rising to seven out of every 10 people by 2050,”

Dr Gulati, Medical Officer (Pediatrics) said. “Urbanisation is here to stay. It is an irreversible trend that is now part of the world in which we live.” Dr Gulati, who is also the executive board member of the Central Indian Academy of Pediatrics, said, “1,000 cities-1,000 lives. Urban Health Matters’ is the slogan for the World Health Day 2010. This campaign encourages cities and individuals to work across multiple agencies with a wide range of partners to have the most lasting impact on health.” City hospitals, meanwhile, are also organising campaigns on the occasion.

Movements of people whether from rural to urban areas or from one country to another often alter the characteristic epidemiological disease profile, and at the same time new diseases appear or old ones reemerge. Such is the case of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, yellow fever, dengue, and Lyme disease.if urbanization is well planned then it might have less severe effects on health and as will as on environment and if urbanization is not well planned, it may lead to obvious threats regarding to health etc.

Movements of people whether from rural to urban areas or from one country to another often alter the characteristic epidemiological disease profile, and at the same time new diseases appear or old ones reemerge. Such is the case of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, yellow fever, dengue, and Lyme disease.if urbanization is well planned then it might have less severe effects on health and as will as on environment and if urbanization is not well planned, it may lead to obvious threats regarding to health etc.

The reproductive system of pregnant women is especially vulnerable to environmental contaminants. Each step in the reproductive process can be altered by toxic substances in the environment that increase the risk of abortion, birth defects, fetal growth and perinatal death. Many studies have shown that exposing pregnant women to carbon monoxide can damage the health of the fetus. In addition, the developing fetus is susceptible to environmental factors, for example through the mother’s exposure to toxic substances in the workplace.

The environmental, social and economic situation at home is, in turn, influenced by the general social, economic and political situation. The rules, regulations, and laws governing a particular city or country will be a reflection of the priority that the government attaches to providing good services and a healthy environment to the population.

As Herbert Girardet, an expert on urban sustainability has stated, “If we are to continue to live in cities, indeed if we are to continue to flourish on this planet, we will have to find a viable relationship between cities and the living world , a relationship not parasitic but symbiotic, or mutually supportive.”
Given the serious effects that urbanization can have on health, it is esse

ntial to include health considerations into policy making. Because many of the negative effects are suffered by the poor and minorities, it is equally essential to view the challenges incorporating considerations of social justice and equity. The economic situation is a key determinant in the decision, resolve and capacity of the authorities to tackle environmental problems more effectively.

Written by Sidra Bibi
(Student of B.S Environmental Sciences, Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University Quetta).

Human Settlements, Urbanization and Its ImpactsPakistan NewsUncategorizedHealth NewsA settlement is a general term used in archaeology, geography, landscape history and other subjects for a permanent or temporary community in which people live, without being specific as to size, population or importance. A settlement can therefore range in size from a small number of dwellings grouped together...Urdu Columns Database