The process of urbanization takes place when people move from rural areas to settle in urban centers. This process is not permanent and may change over time depending on the changes that may occur both in the specific urban center and other urban centers. Urban attractiveness theory postulates that the extent to which an urban center is attractive to people determines their movement in and out of it (Wagner, 2008). There are several reasons why people chose to settle in some cities and avoid others. Job opportunities, housing availability and economic costs make the chosen cities attractive to the prospective dwellers.
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Job opportunities influence people’s choice on the city in which to move. A city that offers employment opportunities is likely to initiate a movement of people into it. Housing availability in a city is another reason for people to move into it. The attractiveness of the available housing is compounded by its affordability to those seeking residence. Economic costs of life in a city may attract or discourage people from moving into it. A high cost of living in one city, in hard economic periods drives people out of it, to other cities with a more affordable cost of living.
As the movement of people into a city continues due to its attractiveness, the attracting factors become limited. For instance, when people stream into a city due to employment opportunities’ availability, all the chances may be filled up. As a result, those seeking employment may start moving out of the city to others that may have more employment opportunities. Those already settled in a particular city may find their stay unbearable because of congestion resulting from overpopulation. Moreover, the overpopulation causes pollution and shortage of amenities, forcing them to move to other cities where these problems are less or non-existence.
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