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1.1              Background of the Study


            Urbanization is the process by which large numbers of people become permanently concentrated in relatively small areas, forming cities. In this process the number of people living in cities increases compared with the number of people living in rural areas. Natural increase of urbanization can occur if the natural population growth in the cities is higher than in the rural areas. A country is considered to be urbanized when over 50 per cent of its population lives in the urban areas (Long, 1998).

            Urbanization is one of the oldest and most pervasive processes of change that has helped shape societies around the world. While the range of situations is indeed large, a caricature is often used in this text by contrasting processes, impacts, and policy in older industrialized countries with those in newer industrialized countries and developing countries. (Bryant, 2012).

Driven by values and the perceptions of the realities of quality of life differentials (e.g., jobs, living conditions) between urban and rural areas, the results and consequences have been vastly different in the older industrialized countries and developing countries.

            At the same time, urbanization has also been regarded as synonymous with urban expansion, particularly the type of urban growth known as urban sprawl, a set of processes that operate at regional (or micro) and local levels. Macro scale processes of urban growth are easy to link to urban expansion and sprawl. However, expansion of the urban area can take place in the absence of major increases in population and activity concentration in urban regions simply as the result of people’s search for alternative lifestyles and of the different and evolving needs of human activities, particularly in the older industrialized countries. (Bryant, 2012)

            Land pricing can be described as the amount someone is willing to pay for a piece of land and it ebbs and flows with the economy and current land market (Jennifer and Melville 2012). This cost bought about by different factors, one of which is increase and reducing space for structural development, the land price, land intensification processes in urban centres become a subject of geographical enquiry for urban settlement geographers. This is also of research interest.

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