Is it the beginning of De-urbanization ?
There was a boom in urbanisation in the last couple of centuries or more precisely after the Industrial revolution. That was the beginning of further expansion of metropolitan cities across the globe, which definitely brought prosperity and provided a better lifestyle but it also brought some social and ecological evils like crime, pollution, etc. Major reasons for the rapid urbanization were:
Industrial Growth: The expansion of industrialization and manufacturing industries within the urban areas promote more employment opportunities.
Employment: Rural areas consist mainly of the agricultural sector. Urbanization and industrial expansion creates employment opportunities that give more pay-out, are more distinct, and maybe less physical requiring.
Social Factors: Many urban areas permit better living standards, including excellent quality of educational facilities, easy and quick access to quality healthcare.
Modernization: Latest technology enhances the foundation of urban areas. Better communication, medical amenities, and various social comforts attract people from rural areas.
Logistics: It was difficult to move raw material and finished products from one place to another because of a lack of infrastructure and mobility.
Since the industrial revolution, humanity has moved to the urban areas, where jobs are abundant and centralized services make inhabitants' lives easier. However, technology is steadily mounting to reverse this trend. People who have always considered fleeing the city for the country life, but who have been held back by a lack of employment opportunities in rural areas, are starting to find that the transformation is conceivable due to recent advancements in technology. Continuing advancements in information technologies are making physical location less crucial when it comes to administering business. Businesses now operate on a global playing field;
The demand for the kind of technology is growing an all time high, online workspaces are likely to become increasingly easy to use and better at encouraging communication and teamwork. Traditionally, businesses in urban areas have rural sourced resources to save costs. Businesses are taking benefit of the lower living costs in small and medium-sized rural areas by having workers based in these areas. Rural workers can acquire lower pay packages than workers based in the urban areas, and expenses are also lower as employees can either work from home or in local offices that are far cheaper to rent than urban office space.
A study by researchers at the University of Kansas shows that de-urbanization is gaining momentum. An analysis of data provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) showed that people are moving from big cities of more than 4 million people to smaller cities with populations of 1 or 2 million.
One of the bonuses of living in a city used to be proximity to shops and services. However, now that consumers can buy almost everything they need online and have it delivered to their doors, do they still need to congregate in cities? As improvements in infrastructure make rural living more convenient, people are likely to decide that the benefits of living in the countryside - clean air, peace, quiet environment, and wide-open spaces - outweigh the attraction of the bright city lights.
De-Urbanization Key Drivers:
Information Technology: Modern information technologies helping individuals from rural areas can work from home as they can communicate and connect by an Internet, which means some of the work opportunities no longer need to shift to an urban area.
Economically beneficial: The high expenses of living in urban areas the world over makes it hard for the underprivileged to live a quality life with dignity.
Natural factors: People choose to reside in rural areas as it is more beneficial because of cleaner air, peaceful surroundings, and plentiful space.
Technology-based Logistic solutions: It's now easy to set up manufacturing units in remote areas with the advancement in technology-based logistics companies like Delhivery getfareye.com or shiprocket providing a better and faster solution for B2B and B2C market.
Open Freelancing portals: New age freelancing portals like OnBenchMark.com may provide more freedom & opportunities for the freelancer, remote workers, or Independent workers, which eventually helps to restrict freelancer to relocate to urban areas as they may get equal opportunities at their native place as the Covid-19 crises have also validated the possibility of creating virtual teams.
Communication: With the deeper penetration of mobile phones & the Internet, communication is no more a bottleneck for business transactions. Business stakeholders can virtually be present and monitor at various geographies with a minimum workforce.
Education: Education was one of the key factors for parents to look for job opportunities in urban areas to provide better education facilities to their children but the new age education tools like Byjus, Toppr, vedantu and initiatives like leadschool.in are going to standardize the education system and may be able to provide similar education level even at remote areas.
Thanks to technology, it will soon be possible to earn a living from anywhere in the world, so long as there is access to the Internet. With information traveling at the speed of light, physical distances shrink into insignificance. As virtual workspaces develop further, a colleague on the opposite side of the country will feel no more distant than the worker in the next cubicle. Combined with the many attractions of rural environments, these technological breakthroughs could soon lead to a mass exodus of people from the world's major cities. De-urbanization looks set to be an important demographic trend in the 21st century.