Exploring the Effects, Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Rural Development
Abstract Rapid urbanization brings opportunities for harmonizing policy issues for sustainable rural development with those for sustainable urbanization. But urbanization also comes with serious loss of arable land, degradation of ecosystems as well as social and environmental changes to the urban populations. The current urbanization process in developing countries is indicative of a process that needs considerable attention not only as a basis for transformation of societies in the developing countries but also for sustainable development. As cities grow and expand it is expected that economic growth and development will progress and act as a drive for social transformation and improvement of not only in urban areas but the greater rural hinterland served by the urbanized region. Experiences in developing countries like Uganda show a disjuncture between urbanization and the envisaged socio-economic transformation. Increased and persistent urban poverty, environmental sanitation issues, urban food issues, housing, transportation and pollution problems are prevalent in cities of developing countries with the most vulnerable being areas of recent urban expansion and settlements of the urban poor who are the most vulnerable. This article analyzes how the changing nature of population mobility flows into and within two frontiers; rural-urban and urban-rural and how they have shaped sustainable rural development in Uganda. This article highlights the many features and characteristics of urban expansion in developing countries focusing on the local processes underlying urbanization in districts of Uganda. The article also explores features such as driving forces of urbanization in Uganda, effects of urbanization and rural linkages, challenges and opportunities for sustainable rural development in Uganda and the conclusion which summarises the main contrasting features of urban expansion in Uganda.