The process of urbanization and industrialization is a large driving force of economic growth. There is a worldwide rapid spread of the process imposing additional infrastructure and production which increase energy consumption. The resulting carbon dioxide emissions (henceforth, CO2) cause a global warming and consequently attract widespread concerns from the international community in promoting sustainable development and environment protection, especially in terms of reduction of CO2 emissions. CO2 remains the major anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) which accounts for 76% of total emissions in 2010. Total annual anthropogenic GHG emissions have increased by about 10 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent between 2000 and 2010. This increase mainly came from energy (47%), industry (30%), transport (11%) and the building sector (3%). Economic and population growth is the most important drivers of increases in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion (IPCC (2014). Globally, 54% of the world’s population resides in urban areas in 2014 and urban population is projected to reach 66% by 2050 (United Nations, 2014). However, levels of urbanization and industrialization vary greatly across regions1. CO2 emissions in the world have increased from 4.6 to 4.9 metric tons per capita over the period 2006-2011, with income-level heterogeneity: 11.1for high-income countries; 3.4 for middle-income and 0.3 for low-income (World Development Indicators, 2015). This trend will intensify over the next decades as a consequence of high urbanization growth in all regions, especially in Africa and Asia. The rapid development of urbanization expansion and heavy burden of human activities have impaired ecosystem functions in coastal areas (Lin, Xue, Shi, and Gao (2003). From the view of landscape ecology, urbanization is the process in which land use/cover landscape changes from natural landscape which is mainly made of water, soil, and vegetation to manmade landscape which is mainly composed of cement, asphalt, chemical materials, and metal (Cohen, 2006). Meanwhile, the change of land use/cover landscape pattern could be interpreted as the changes of patch shape, area, quality, and spatial combination. Rapid urbanization has been companied by more drastic changes of land use types, disorderly landscape layout, and fragile ecological environment. (Pigeon, Lemonsu, Long, Barrié, Masson, and Durand, 2006).


Urbanization, simply defined as the shift from a rural to an urban society, is an essential corollary of industrialization that goes hand in hand with the role of human settlements as engines of growth in the economy and as promoters of scientific, socio-cultural and technological development. Urbanization is the outcome of the social, economic and political development. It is a factor of development associated with modernization and is a means of and consequences of modernization and has a positive and accelerating effect on development.

Rapid urbanization finds expression principally in outward expansion of the built-up area, converting prime agricultural land into residential and industrial uses. It also leads to the construction of high-rise buildings and vertical commercial development in specific zones.

Urbanization is a process whereby populations move from rural to urban area, enabling cities and towns to grow. It can also be termed as the progressive increase of the number of people living in towns and cities. It is highly influenced by the notion that cities and towns have achieved better economic, political, and social mileages compared to the rural areas.

Accordingly, urbanization is very common in developing and developed worlds as more and more people have the tendency of moving closer to towns and cities to acquire “privileged” social and economic services as well as benefits. These include social and economic advantages such as better education, health care, sanitation, housing, business opportunities, and transportation.

Although urbanization is growing throughout the world, the growth of cities is more rapid in the developing countries especially Africa where annual growth rate is 1.6% compared to 0.8% in the developed countries. In 1950, Africa was the least urbanized continent with only 14.5% of the population in urban areas, but by 1988, about 35% of Africa’s population of 749 million people was urban. UN projections indicate that the urban population will increase to 914 million by 2025 or 4 times the 1990 levels.

In Africa, urbanization results from large concentrations of population in a few large cities and the factors that account for this phenomenon include:

•           Industrialization and labour specialization

•           Higher productivity in agriculture due to specialization and introduction of new technologies

•           Foreign penetration and power interests

•           High expectations and hopes of groups and individuals

Rapid urbanization finds expression principally in outward expansion of the built-up area, converting prime agricultural land into residential and industrial uses. It also leads to the construction of high-rise buildings and vertical commercial development in specific zones


Industrialization is the process by which an economy is transformed from primarily agricultural to one based on the manufacturing of goods. Individual manual labor is often replaced by mechanized mass production, and craftsmen are replaced by assembly lines. Characteristics of industrialization include economic growth, more efficient division of labor, and the use of technological innovation to solve problems as opposed to dependency on conditions outside human control.

  • Industrialization is a transformation away from an agricultural- or resource-based economy, toward an economy based on mass manufacturing.
  • Industrialization is usually associated with increases in total income and living standards in a society.
  • Early industrialization occurred in Europe and North America during the 18th and 19th centuries, and later in other parts of the world.
  • Numerous strategies for industrialization have been pursued in different countries over time, with varying levels of success.

Industrialization is the process of applying mechanical, chemical, and electrical sciences to reorganize production with inanimate sources of energy. A technological criterion of industrialization by no means entails technological determinism. On the contrary, comparative studies of industrialization have served as a key field for social investigators to highlight the influence of culture, political contingency, and the timing of local development in relation to world history. Cross-national comparisons of industrialization have undermined unilinear models that had predicted that the international sharing of technology would lead to convergence in the social institutions of manufacture.

Processes of industrialization across capitalist societies as well as across state-dominated societies with central planning, such as the former Soviet Union, have shared essential similarities. Initially industrialization is marked by massive transfers of labor out of agriculture and into factories that have concentrations of capital equipment. Increases in the productivity of the labor devoted to manufacture come to balance increases in demand for goods, however, and employment in the service sector increases more rapidly than in manufacture after initial industrialization. In the leading industrial societies of Europe, Asia, and North America, employment growth has increasingly concentrated in services, expert professions, and finance. Even in industrialized countries that are net exporters of manufactures, such as Germany, the absolute number of workers in manufacturing has usually declined since the 1970s. Indeed, some national economies, including that of the UK, have become net importers of manufactured goods and net exporters of design know-how and of financial services that put technology to work elsewhere.

Ecological Consequences of Urbanization and Industrialization

There are four primary impact points when it comes to industrialization — air, water, soil and habitat.

The biggest problem is air pollution, caused by the smoke and emissions generated by burning fossil fuels. The United State’s EPA regulates more than 80 different toxins that can be found in industrial pollution, from asbestos and dioxin to lead and chromium. In spite of these regulations, industries are among the worst generators of air pollution in the world.

Water pollution is also a problem in these areas, specifically in regions where factories are built next to natural water sources. These toxins can come in a variety of forms — solid, liquid or gaseous — and they can all end up contaminating the local water supplies. Even landfills and other waste disposal areas can leach toxins into the local water supply, leading to water pollution as in the case of River Nile.

Soil contamination is another problem that goes hand in hand with industrialization. Lead is the most common form of soil contamination, but other heavy metals and toxic chemicals can also leach into the soil and, in turn, contaminate any crops that grow there.

Finally, industrialization has led to dramatic habitat destruction. Forests are cut down for their lumber, and ecosystems are destroyed to create roads, strip mines and gravel pits. Destroying these habitats upsets local ecosystems and leads to plant and animal extinction if the species are unable to relocate or adapt to their new surroundings.

The Solution

Now that we’ve realized what an impact the industrial revolution has had and is still having on the environment, what can we do to fix it? There are two possible approaches that both factories and legislators can take to help reduce the impact of industrial pollution.

First, industries can reduce their reliance on a product that is causing pollution. One good example is removing lead from gasoline in the 1970s. We’ve lowered our dependence on lead, which reduced the amount of this heavy metal being leached into the surrounding environment.

The other option is to treat industrial waste to remove toxic components so that the rest of the waste can be disposed of safely. It isn’t always easy, and it does require that each factory implements the proper procedures to purify or cleanse their waste byproducts. However, it can help reduce the soil, air and water pollution being produced by these facilities, and also help in conservation of natural resources. Companies like can help in managing e-waste in a sustainable manner.

The industrial revolution may have changed the way that we look at the world, but it also changed the impact we had on this planet that we call home. Now that we’ve realized the problem, it’s up to us to fix it so that we can continue to grow and change without destroying our home in the name of progress.


Urbanization is also defined by the United Nations as movement of people from rural to urban areas with population growth equating to urban migration.

Urbanization is closely linked to modernization, industrialization, globalization.
The main impact of this is habitat loss, biodiversity destruction ultimately leading to ecosystem imbalance or its destruction. .

Dense human populations due to urbanization that allow little room for natural habitat and which cause imbalance in our ecosystem so, impacts of urbanization on ecosystem is of great importance.



Ecological habitat loss


Global Warming

Imbalance in Food chain

Increase in Endangered Species.


Pollution is one of the main causes of ecosystem destruction. Pollution can deplete resources and drive away local animal populations. Significant sources of pollution include trash, carbon emissions, oil spills and pesticides.

Pollution disrupts the normal ecosystem functioning resulting malfunctioning of the ecosystem.


When a habitat is destroyed, the plants, animals, and other organisms that occupied the habitat have a reduced carrying capacity so that populations decline and extinction becomes more likely. Perhaps the greatest threat to organisms and biodiversity is the process of habitat loss.

Encroachment to natural habitat has resulted in the loss of rich biological diversity.

A survey of tiger’s in the national parks have shown that depletion up to 50 percent

As a result of these human activities biodiversity profile of world is facing a serious threat of depletion.


As a result of Habitat loss and increasing urbanized area many organisms are facing threat of EXTICTION.

Disappearance of SPARROWS in Bangalore is due to habitat loss and pollution which are resultant of urbanization.

One of the serious cause for the SNAKE’S decreasing population is due to urbanization which deteriously affects the ecosystem’s food chain.

Mining activities-The process of excavation of natural mineral resources from the deeper sediments of soil is known as MINING.

Mining activities have resulted in overexploitation of some of non-renewable resources.

It is observed that the decrease in the Eagle’s population in these days is because of the antibiotics present in the cattle’s meat which is eagle’s source of food-ANTHROPOCENTRIC CAUSE.

Climate change continues to play a significant role in the destruction of the ecosystem. Global warming has led to increased temperatures, sea levels and ocean acidity that disrupt an ecosystem’s natural balance.

Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth’s near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation.

The cities should be planned

Government should provide basic necessities like employment and basic needs in order to minimize the migrating population to the Urban areas.

The administration should become strong in implementing laws in favor to Ecosystem’s balance and its good health.

Each and every person should become ENVIRONMENT LITERATE.

Urban effects on the environment

Humans are the driving force behind urban ecology and influence the environment in a variety of ways, such as modifying land surfaces and waterways, introducing foreign species, and altering biogeochemical cycles. Some of these effects are more apparent, such as the reversal of the Chicago River to accommodate the growing pollution levels and trade on the river. Other effects can be more gradual such as the change in global climate due to urbanization.

Modification of land and waterways

Humans place high demand on land not only to build urban centers, but also to build surrounding suburban areas for housing. Land is also allocated for agriculture to sustain the growing population of the city. Expanding cities and suburban areas necessitate corresponding deforestation to meet the land-use and resource requirements of urbanization. Key examples of this are Deforestation in the United States and Brazil

Along with manipulation of land to suit human needs, natural water resources such as rivers and streams are also modified in urban establishments. Modification can come in the form of dams, artificial canals, and even the reversal of rivers. Reversing the flow of the Chicago River is a major example of urban environmental modification. Urban areas in natural desert settings often bring in water from far areas to maintain the human population and will likely have effects on the local desert climate. Modification of aquatic systems in urban areas also results in decreased stream diversity and increased pollution.

Trade, shipping, and spread of invasive species

Both local shipping and long-distance trade are required to meet the resource demands important in maintaining urban areas. Carbon dioxide emissions from the transport of goods also contribute to accumulating greenhouse gases and nutrient deposits in the soil and air of urban environments. In addition, shipping facilitates the unintentional spread of living organisms, and introduces them to environments that they would not naturally inhabit. Introduced or alien species are populations of organisms living in a range in which they did not naturally evolve due to intentional or inadvertent human activity. Increased transportation between urban centers furthers the incidental movement of animal and plant species. Alien species often have no natural predators and pose a substantial threat to the dynamics of existing ecological populations in the new environment where they are introduced. Such invasive species are numerous and include house sparrows, ring-necked pheasants, European starlings, brown rats, Asian carp, American bullfrogs, emerald ash borer, kudzu vines, and zebra mussels among numerous others, most notably domesticated animals.

Human effects on biogeochemical pathways

Urbanization results in a large demand for chemical use by industry, construction, agriculture, and energy providing services. Such demands have a substantial impact on biogeochemical cycles, resulting in phenomena such as acid rain, eutrophication, and global warming. Furthermore, natural biogeochemical cycles in the urban environment can be impeded due to impermeable surfaces that prevent nutrients from returning to the soil, water, and atmosphere.

Demand for fertilizers to meet agricultural needs exerted by expanding urban centers can alter chemical composition of soil. Such effects often result in abnormally high concentrations of compounds including sulfur, phosphorus, nitrogen, and heavy metals. In addition, nitrogen and phosphorus used in fertilizers have caused severe problems in the form of agricultural runoff, which alters the concentration of these compounds in local rivers and streams, often resulting in adverse effects on native species. A well-known effect of agricultural runoff is the phenomenon of eutrophication. When the fertilizer chemicals from agricultural runoff reach the ocean, an algal bloom results, then rapidly dies off. The dead algae biomass is decomposed by bacteria that also consume large quantities of oxygen, which they obtain from the water, creating a “dead zone” without oxygen for fish or other organisms. A classic example is the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico due to agricultural runoff into the Mississippi River.

Just as pollutants and alterations in the biogeochemical cycle alter river and ocean ecosystems, they exert likewise effects in the air. Smog stems from the accumulation of chemicals and pollution and often manifests in urban settings, which has a great impact on local plants and animals. Because urban centers are often considered point sources for pollution, unsurprisingly local plants have adapted to withstand such conditions.

Urban effects on climate

Urban environments and outlying areas have been found to exhibit unique local temperatures, precipitation, and other characteristic activity due to a variety of factors such as pollution and altered geochemical cycles. Some examples of the urban effects on climate are urban heat island, oasis effect, greenhouse gases, and acid rain. This further stirs the debate as to whether urban areas should be considered a unique biome. Despite common trends among all urban centers, the surrounding local environment heavily influences much of the climate. One such example of regional differences can be seen through the urban heat island and oasis effect.


The proportion of the world’s population living in urban areas, which was less than 5 percent in 1800, increased to 47 percent by 2000 and is expected to reach 65 percent by 2030, according to a 2000 United Nations report. Urbanization is the shift of populace from a rural to an urban society. In developing countries, the reasons for people leaving rural areas and moving to urban areas varies from country to country, but in many cases it is creating slums of fringe dwellers unable to find suitable employment. Ecological Consequences of Urbanization and Industrialization


There’s something inherently romantic about moving to the city. Cities are more modern th rural environments, and people are attracted to the fashion, food, and ideas flowing in the city.

People often move to cities for a fresh start. They want to learn more about culture and experience the hustle and bustle of daily city life. Some people dream of moving to the “big city” for most of their lives. They might be disappointed when they get there, but a lot of cities have a modern, romantic draw to them. Ecological Consequences of Urbanization and Industrialization


Industrialization is a trend representing a shift from the old agricultural economics to novel non-agricultural economy, which creates a modernized society. Through industrial revolution, more people have been attracted to move from rural to urban areas on the account of improved employment opportunities. Industrialization has increased employment opportunities by giving people the chance to work in modern sectors in job categories that aids to stir economic developments. Ecological Consequences of Urbanization and Industrialization


Commerce and trade play a major role in urbanization. The distribution of goods and services and commercial transactions in the modern era has developed modern marketing institutions and exchange methods that have tremendously given rise to the growth of towns and cities. Commercialization and trade comes with the general perception that the towns and cities offer better commercial opportunities and returns compared to the rural areas. Ecological Consequences of Urbanization and Industrialization

Political Causes

During times of political unrest, families are forced to leave their rural farming villages, and they migrate to the urban areas in search of shelter, food and employment. When large numbers of people are driven from their rural villages, especially in war-ravaged countries, the cities become saturated, and slums start to grow on the outskirts of the cities. Ecological Consequences of Urbanization and Industrialization

Economic Causes

Poverty in rural areas, due to large companies creating commercial farms and small farmers finding it harder and harder to make a living, forces people to move to the urban areas in search of better employment opportunities. The rise of industry in developing countries has provided more job opportunities in urban areas, and cities have increased significantly in size due to this. Ecological Consequences of Urbanization and Industrialization


Opportunities for education at universities and technical colleges draw young people to the urban centers, where they hope to provide better prospects for the future for themselves and their families. Urban centers in developing countries have become hubs of education and training, as they are also in developed countries. Ecological Consequences of Urbanization and Industrialization

Natural Population Increase

There has been a natural increase of population in many developing countries due to improved medical care, immunization programs, better sanitation and more widespread education. Death rates have decreased, and there are fewer infant deaths, resulting in population growth. As populations grow so does the urban sprawl. As the cities become overcrowded with not enough employment to go around, more and more people live in substandard housing. Ecological Consequences of Urbanization and Industrialization

Environmental Degradation

When the natural habitat of farming families is destroyed due to deforestation, mining or industrial expansion, they are forced to find somewhere else to live. Often small amounts of compensation from logging and mining companies provide the funds for families to move to urban areas, but there is no guarantee of work in the cities, and many families move there and are forced into poverty because they cannot find enough work. Ecological Consequences of Urbanization and Industrialization

Social Causes

Many young people migrate to urban centers in search of lifestyle changes and with the desire to become associated with the club scenes in large cities. Such scenes provide employment opportunities, but they sadly also attract gambling and crime syndicates to develop.

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