How does urbanization affect the quality of life in megacities
Urbanization is the process of population growth and concentration in urban areas. Megacities are urban areas with more than 10 million inhabitants. According to the United Nations, there were 33 megacities in the world in 2018, and this number is expected to increase to 43 by 2030. Urbanization and megacities pose significant challenges and opportunities for the quality of life of their residents, which can be measured by indicators such as health, education, income, environment, safety, culture and governance.
In this essay, I will examine how urbanization affects the quality of life in megacities by comparing and contrasting two case studies: Tokyo, Japan and Lagos, Nigeria. Tokyo is the largest megacity in the world with 37.4 million inhabitants, while Lagos is the largest megacity in Africa with 21 million inhabitants. Both cities have experienced rapid urbanization in the past decades, but have different levels of development, wealth and governance.
One of the positive effects of urbanization on the quality of life in megacities is that it provides access to better education and health services. For example, Tokyo has a literacy rate of 99% and a life expectancy of 84 years, which are among the highest in the world[^1^]. The city has a well-developed public education system and a universal health care system that cover all its residents. Lagos, on the other hand, has a literacy rate of 68% and a life expectancy of 55 years, which are among the lowest in Africa[^2^]. The city suffers from a lack of adequate schools and hospitals, especially in the informal settlements where more than half of its population lives. Therefore, urbanization has improved the quality of life in terms of education and health in Tokyo, but not in Lagos.
Another positive effect of urbanization on the quality of life in megacities is that it creates more economic opportunities and income for their residents. For instance, Tokyo has a GDP per capita of $49,000 and a low unemployment rate of 2.4%, which reflect its status as a global financial and technological hub[^3^]. The city offers a variety of jobs and careers for its diverse and skilled workforce. Lagos, however, has a GDP per capita of $4,000 and a high unemployment rate of 23%, which indicate its dependence on oil exports and informal sector activities. The city faces a shortage of formal jobs and incomes for its growing and young population. Therefore, urbanization has enhanced the quality of life in terms of income and employment in Tokyo, but not in Lagos.
One of the negative effects of urbanization on the quality of life in megacities is that it causes environmental degradation and pollution. For example, Tokyo consumes about 20% of Japan's energy and emits about 15% of its greenhouse gases. The city also suffers from air pollution, noise pollution and waste disposal problems that affect the health and well-being of its residents. Lagos consumes about 40% of Nigeria's energy and emits about 25% of its greenhouse gases. The city also faces severe water pollution, land degradation and waste management issues that threaten the lives and livelihoods of its residents. Therefore, urbanization has worsened the quality of life in terms of environment and sustainability in both Tokyo and Lagos.
Another negative effect of urbanization on the quality of life in megacities is that it increases social inequality and insecurity. For instance, Tokyo has a Gini coefficient of 0.34 and a crime rate of 1.2 per 1000 people, which show its moderate level of income disparity and low level of violence. The city has a relatively cohesive and stable society that respects human rights and rule of law. Lagos has a Gini coefficient of 0.48 and a crime rate of 6.6 per 1000 people, which reveal its high level of income inequality and high level
of crime. The city has a fragmented and volatile society that suffers from corruption, conflict and human rights violations. Therefore,