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Last edited 07 Oct 2022
Urbanisation is a process whereby humans settle in higher numbers over smaller land areas, a process where smaller rural communities grow to develop and form into cities, or urban areas. It is reported that the term, urbanización, was coined by, one of the earliest town planners Ildefons Cerdà i Sunyer (1815 - 1876) a Spanish civil engineer and urban planner. He drew up topographical survey maps of Barcelona's surroundings, wrote theoretical treatises to support his major planning projects and was eventually responsible for planning an extension to the city of Barcelona in the 1900's.
Today Urbanisation is an important term not least because in 2007 the UN estimated that the balance between those living in rural areas and the urbanised population had shifted with a greater proportion now being urban, rather than rural based.
The term planner or urban planner, may often now be adjusted to Urbanism, which the study of how inhabitants of urban areas, interact with their built environment. An Urban specialist or Urbanist, may have a broader remit than the planning of buildings, extending into the interaction of the wide variety of different urban systems, potentially including the relatively new disciplines or urban sociology and urban psychology that encompass the nature of urban life and culture.
NB Spatial development glossary, European Conference of Ministers responsible for Spatial/Regional Planning (CEMAT), Territory and landscape, No 2, published by Council of Europe Publishing in 2007, states: ‘Urbanisation is a long-term process which characterises both the increasing share of population living in towns and cities and the growth of urban areas.’
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