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Urbanization and Structural Transformation

Sustainable urbanization is known to be a vehicle for national economic and social transformation. By sustainable urbanization we mean the transition of rural-urban landscapes that structure both rural and urban economy, ecology and society in ways that reward the present generation with higher quality of life but without endangering and diminishing the living standards of future generations.

This structural shift is underpinned by proper planning, supported by enforceable legal mechanisms and, by so doing, brings about rapid economic progress and the equitable development of citizens. When rural-urban shift is properly managed alongside industrialization and planned urban space, it tends to lead to higher productivity and, eventually, rising living standards and better quality of life.

Sustainable urbanization spawns cities that evolve into centres of change and innovation, mainly because the concentration of people, resources and activities support human creativity. However, research has shown that there are a number of countries that are highly urbanized without having seen a large shift of economic activity towards manufacturing and services in most developing countries. This phenomenon is discussed in this study.