Urban decay is the process by which part of a rapidly developing city, or a section of an already developed city, seizes on urban decay and disrepute. In its early stages, it refers to the total loss of social value and environmental quality of life. The urban decay thesis suggests that the process of urban decay may have its roots in the dynamics of the economic development of the country. This article presents five reasons for urban decay.
A Low Quality Of Life
The key cause of urban decay can be attributed to the increasing number of people living in slums and poverty-stricken areas. A higher than normal number of people are surviving on lower wages as compared to those in metropolitan cities.
A high number of people are being affected by crime waves and a high level of disrepair are adding to the woes. High unemployment rates, lack of good employment opportunities, and limited access to basic facilities are contributing factors in pushing people to live in squalid conditions. As more people find themselves in high urban crime risks, the social disorder is growing causing deterioration in basic public services.
Lack Of Basic Human Amenities
Another important reason for urban decay is an insufficient supply of basic amenities in the urban area. Hospitals, schools, and primary healthcare facilities are crowded into small or poorly serviced areas. Also, most of these institutions suffer from poor hygiene and a variety of diseases. Other examples of basic public amenities in the urban areas are waste water pipes, waste disposal, sewage system, etc. These all can be major causes for sickness and disease. As more people live in densely populated areas, there is a greater risk of diseases and infections spread amongst the residents.
The practice of redlining has also been a contributing factor to urban decay. It is basically where real estate agents mark boundary lines to prevent the entry of people of certain demographics from another area. This practice can be used to keep out undesired people from certain areas or to prevent building of certain structures or building of new projects in a certain neighborhood.
The process of suburbanization is also a factor in urban decay. This process results in development of land and buildings for higher value projects, resulting in less efficient and less useful land and buildings. A big factor behind the process of suburbanization is economic development. Lacking job opportunities, higher expenses, and higher property taxes push people to move into the urban centers. Due to the influx of the population, land and buildings are overpriced causing them to deteriorate.
Lack Of Marriage Options
Lack of marriage options and poor education can result in higher juvenile delinquency rates, domestic violence, and overall unstable and unhappy family life. This in turn, affects the entire community and society as a whole. Urban depopulation and a rise in violent crimes against women and girls can also be a contributing factor for urban decay.
The effects of urban decay are quite alarming especially when the foreign invaders and the local inhabitants are mixed. Urban depopulation is also the effect of English language barriers in some areas causing the decline of the standard of living. For a translator, the consequences of urban decay would be even worse since the majority of the society is illiterate and speaks only their native language. A translator whose native language is not English can very well become a target of sexual harassment and other related abuses.
Property Values Decline
Another effect of urban decay is reduction of property values. A city with declining property values suffers from loss of income from tourism and emigration. As the capital value of property decreases, so does the need for tourists and emigrants.
Likewise, low property values make it harder for families to afford their daily expenses and thus affects the quality of life. This will force more people to migrate or to live in crowded apartments and expensive guesthouses. Even with the help of public housing, property values are still far from reach of ordinary citizens.