City Life – Why people prefer to live in cities?

Living in Cities can have many positive impacts compared to rural life. Because of these benefits, most of the world’s population live in cities now. The rural lifestyle is less stressful, but the cities have more opportunities for the people as compared to a small town. With a rapid increase in urban growth, cities are becoming more lucrative (cities shrink as well, known as counter urbanisation). It’s more likely that the people will walk in parks or get more exercise in the city life than to their rural counterparts in a few American cities. Living in big cities has its own negatives such as a stressful lifestyle and fast-paced life. These have to be tolerated to live in a good city. Obesity is also high in urban areas because of loss of exercise. In rural areas people do a lot of manual work which helps maintain their stress and obesity levels. People might also know each other more personally in rural areas. Although it is important to think of both sides, this article will focus on the advantages of living in the city rather than in rural areas, country side or suburb.

Depending on which part of city you are living in, you will experience the city a bit differently. People residing in inner city or city centre will see more traffic problems as compared to those living on the outskirts. Central areas always witness shortage of parking lots. Cost of living is highly influenced based on the city and location you choose to live in. Location also effects the availability of services such as health care, community development center, public services and social services. Life in a small town will be different as compared to living in a large city. Major cities such as New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles will provide a different experience as compared to smaller cities.

Urban environment differs from city to city. There are a few traits which are shared by all urban areas and in urban life such apartment buildings, lack of green space, presence of art galleries, noise pollution, congested living spaces. A city living has both pros and cons, some of these advantage and disadvantages have been discussed in this article.

Related Articles:

Advantages of Living in a city

Here are some Advantages of Living in a Big City:

    1. More job opportunities: In cities, there are more jobs and various opportunities in different fields which helps the people to find a job compared to the Villages or the Rural area’s . Although the job market is a lot more competitive in cities but there are a lot of job opportunities and a wide variety of jobs available that you can take part in. If you need to develop a skill, it is also likely that you can do a course to understand your skills and to get that job. If you are educated, then there are more jobs available for labour jobs, clerks, customer service to engineering jobs. This is one of the major reasons many people migrate from rural areas and choose city living. Urban Center are usually the places which are always full of economic opportunities.
    2. More chances of meeting new people: One of the major ways in which people get new opportunities is through meeting people and city life offers this. Where ever you go in the city, you will encounter new people and will be in the mix of meeting someone who can suggest an opportunity for you. There is also a lot of information and knowledge available in large cities through the computer and internet which might not be available in the rural areas. It’s likely you will become friends with a few people as you become more familiar with the city lifestyle and develop your own group of connections and network which will offer more opportunities
    3. A lot of varieties and choices: You have a lot more variety and choices in city life than in rural life. This is because of the abundance and mix of people and culture. In a city like Bangalore, for instance, you find people from all walks of life and countries/cities. Many people are from North India and mix with local South Indians, and there are people from American cities such as Chicago and New York  who come to work here and vice versa. So there is a melting pot of culture and people. This suggests that cities are more connected to the world and offer cultural attractions. This will help people to understand their own choices and themselves better in relation to what they like and dislike or which path will give them more opportunities in life.
    4. Better infrastructure and education opportunities: There are more educational opportunities and a lot of different courses and institutions available in cities. Although they might be expensive, it is also easier to get a bank loan in the city. If you have children, then it might be better to migrate to the city as they will have a lot more opportunities and will be exposed to a more modern lifestyle. There is always an opportunity to learn something new or develop something in a city. Since the pay is also higher in cities, with your job it will be easier to save money for the child’s education. Infrastructure is also linked with economic development in a country. Smart city provide a more efficient set of infrastructure.
    5. More overall facilities and knowledge about health: There are more opportunities for  medical care, a healthy lifestyle in cities such as good doctors and vaccination opportunities. People are known to live longer because they have purposeful lives and dedicate themselves to more worthy causes. Even NGOs like UNICEF work in major cities, bringing in more knowledge about health issues where even the poor can get access to flu vaccinations and other facilities. There might also be more immunity because of the large population size. There are also large pools of gyms and parks in cities that encourage people to walk and exercise. But, one negative issue is the pollution that might cause Ill-Health. Cities are struggling to tackle.

The Advantages of city living can be categorised as follows:

Availability Of Services & Facilities

  • Big cities usually have hospitals and nursing homes where there are good doctors to take care of us when we have diseases or illnesses. Good medicines are also available in cities.
  • Urban areas have better drainage system meaning they usually avoid floods.
  • Cities have a very good supply of electricity and often have power plants near to it. Smart city incorporates information technology to manage this aspect more efficiently.
  • Cities have good schools and colleges and universities and many books are available which help in good educational opportunities. This results in better price for real estate investment.
  • Cities often have factories near them for production of goods and materials for the people.

Good Connectivity & Public Transport

  • Cities have good means of transport and public transit like trains, buses, trams, cars. Air travel is also possible in the cities for travelling longer distances or going to other countries.
  • Major cities have ports for bringing in goods and people from far off places. Travel time however might be an issue for those who require to cover long distance.
  • Public transport options are available in plenty meaning that a lot of people can travel together and save fuel and also save money for the same. Major metropolitan areas are can be accessed easily.

Municipality & Proper Sewage Systems

  • Water is usually provided well by Municipalities and the Government.
  • Drinking water is often provided by the Government which is purified and circulated from filtration plants maintained by the State.
  • Cities have good sewage systems for keeping it clean and hygiene is maintained.
  • Cities have waste management departments for better waste disposal and management.
  • Availability of action plan, digital services and unparalleled options allow cities to respond swiftly in case of any disaster.

Proper Infrastructure and Public Utilities

  • Cities have big buildings and places of interest. They have offices and headquarters of companies. Urban setting an an urban area is much better and different as compared to it’s rural counterpart.
  • Cities have options of movie theatres and shopping complexes and places to visit. They have parks , markets and restaurants for having fancy food and different cuisines  and hotels for staying and relaxing.
  • More offices in cities mean that more jobs are available there and people often come to cities for earning their living and stay there.
  • Big city have libraries for helping students and researchers find books in an affordable way and continue their studies.
  • Cities have big five star hotels for availing top class services, amenities and fine dining.
  • They have big stadiums for cricket and football matches where a lot of people can sit and watch the games. Local community can also host special events.

Environment Friendly And Cultural Diversity

  • With growing concern about the environment, more and more trees are being planted in parks in cities and greenery is being enhanced. City dwellers are now becoming aware about huge impact on environment which take place because of urban living.
  • Cities have a huge diversity of culture due to people from various backgrounds living together.
  • Cities have a lot of cultural places for watching and enjoying festivals , dance shows and music events.

Availability Of Internet And Other Facilities

  • With growing internet services, Cities have better internet connections and provide wireless connectivity to the people so that they have access to the internet. A smart city is highly dependent on availability of internet & connected devices.
  • Online shopping websites supply goods to most cities via couriers and shopping is thus made life easy, by buying from the comfort of our home.
  • Modern cities have many apartments instead of individual houses and thus housing problems are somewhat solved due to many flats in single buildings. This provide more options when investing in real estate.
  • Cities have better postal service and couriers for sending and receiving letters and other things.
  • Cities have a better system of police to help us during problems and firemen to help in case of fire.
  • In most cities, there are big courts for resolving legal troubles and for getting justice in case of problems and crimes.
  • Cities offer great ways of engaging in sports and such activities through clubs and parks. They often have golf courses and fields for athletes.

Also Read: Difference between village life and city life

Other Advantages of Living in the City:

  1. Better & Reliable Public Transportation – because of the high population density in urban areas, public transportation is a basic requirement for people living in a city. A good public transport acts as a lifeline for city and thus needs to be reliable, accessible & efficient. The need of having a private vehicle may be felt but it’s necessity depends on individuals since most of the daily and routine trips can be made using the public transport. This is one of the highly valued advantage of living in a city. It helps in reducing the otherwise high cost of living in a city.
  2. Multiple Housing options – Owning a house in urban areas and especially large cities is not really possible all the time. It depends on the person’s income & affordability. But urban areas provides wider options, you can always rent or share the house. Co-living is one such emerging concept. Since there are people coming from various places, you have more options available to meet your requirements and budget. Having such diverse housing options is one of the many pros of living in the city. Living space is small and crunched but it has close proximity to important facilities such as departmental stores, dining options, health care etc.
  3. A fast pace of life – Some of us like to live a fast paced life. Things should be happening all around and just want to get things done as early as possible. This is the way of life in most of the urban areas. You will find people in hurry, going from one place to another all the time. Everyone is busy in doing something or the other. Fast pace of life is one of the reason of living in a city for many people.
  4. More Exposure & opportunities – Since cities are home to people from various background, expectations, learning, skill set etc; they provide a unique combination of such people. This provides you with more exposure as everyone has their own way of doing work and living life. You get to learn more from other.
  5. Cultural Diversity & vibrant communities – Some of the large cities attracts people from various cultural background. The mix becomes so large at times that the own identity of the town or city is hard to identify. Each culture has something to present and people start experimenting and exploring other cultures as well.
  6. Shopping/ Specialized Needs – Cities are home to largest shopping areas and specialized shops, showrooms, especially inner city. Urban center is especially an advantage of living in a big city. No matter what your requirement is or how exclusive it is, you will always find the person or dealer for your needs. Such specialized shops are possible in cities because of the large population. Consider a big city like Chicago, New York, London, Delhi, Italy, Paris, Shanghai etc, you can get almost anything in these cities. Each type of business/ activity needs a threshold population to sustain itself as explained in Central Place Theory by Walter Christaller.

Obviously, there are a lot more advantages to city life and also a few disadvantages. For example increased exposure to air pollution, poor air quality, water pollution among various types of pollution, but it is true that a city brings more exposure and connects people to the world in comparison to a rural life. There has been a growth in city population in India and other countries. It is estimated that nearly 70% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2025. This is a large number and suggests that we should be more cautious of finding more opportunities and a better life for people in cities. Although there is a difference between cities themselves and competition between them, migrating from rural life to a city life can be both challenging and exciting at the same time. It would be beneficial to adjust to city life and embrace the change because of the vast amount of opportunities it offers.

People always tend to choose cities to live in because of the several benefits offered by them. This is due to the presence of a larger scope of enjoying services and improved facilities and therefore, enjoy a better quality of living. The benefits of cities are innumerable and are always plus points. Especially for those looking for better opportunities in life and achieving more in the fields they are interested in. With the advancement of technology, cities are becoming bigger and more sophisticated and more and more opportunities are opening up towards a brighter and happier future. Any major city will have stark differences when compared to rural area, urban living with country living and suburban living. Living conditions are difference and the differences between city dwellers and rural community.

Related: Rural-urban continuum and causes of rural-urban continuum, Rural urban fringe: Concept, History, Reasons, Issues