Usually the goal of urban development is to create thriving centralized areas that can provide employment opportunities and housing while reducing commuting needs. Urban development also provides entertainment and a sense of community and diversity. On the other hand, the centralization caused by urban development may increase traffic congestion and noise, lead to higher crime rates and force poorer residents out of their homes. And when it doesn't work, urban development may result in urban decay.
Developing urban areas can result in new businesses, and existing companies usually experience an increase in business. Businesses follow population growth, especially in developing urban areas. For example, if a company builds or renovates a structure that houses a large number of employees, this may encourage new restaurants in that area to feed the company’s employees. And other people besides the company’s employers will also flock to this area to eat. The success of these companies encourages other types of businesses, such as dry cleaners, an automotive repair shop, a grocery and a drug store to consider moving to this location. As a result, the city’s economy grows.
On one hand, placing many businesses in one location creates a pedestrian environment and reduces the need for cars. Compared to rural areas and suburbs, where it is often too far to walk from one location to the next, urban development places many business in close proximity to each other. On the other hand, cities like New York are famous for bumper-to-bumper traffic, since too many people crowded in small urban areas can create traffic congestion. Public transportation plays a major role in the success of many urban development areas.
Restoring crumbling or abandoned buildings and adding new structures can breath life into what was once a dead and empty area. Abandoned buildings provide environments for criminal activity, such as drug use. Revitalizing these areas typically includes a ramped-up police presence, which can decrease the criminal element in urban areas. However, this is not always the case, and if crime is not sufficiently contained, consumers will not visit these urban areas, and business owners will close up shop and move to safer areas in the suburbs. This exodus leads to urban decay.
In some instances, urban development requires moving tenants from their homes. These are often low-income residents who are forced to move to another location that may not provide them the convenient transportation that they once had. On the other hand, some urban development programs include rebuilding existing low-income housing and actually incorporating it with mid-income housing. On the other hand, housing in urban areas is considered a prime location and is usually much more expensive than housing in a rural or suburban areas.
Quality of Life
The quality of life provided by urban development may vary from person to person. For instance, some urban dwellers may enjoy the excitement of city life, and living in close proximity to stores, museums and bars. They also enjoy the variety of people that they regularly come in contact with. However, some people may equate city excitement with noise, and prefer the quiet and the expansiveness of suburban living.
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