Urban development is a system of residential expansion that creates cities. Residential areas are the primary focus of urban development. Urban development occurs by expansion into unpopulated areas and/or the renovation of decaying regions. Urban planning is a technical and political process concerned with the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas, such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks.
By getting urban development right, cities can create jobs and offer better livelihoods; increase economic growth; improve social inclusion; promote the decoupling of living standards and economic growth from environmental resource use; protect local and regional ecosystems; reduce both urban and rural poverty. Intensive urban growth can lead to greater poverty, with local governments unable to provide services for all people. Concentrated energy use leads to greater air pollution with significant impact on human health. Urban development can magnify the risk of environmental hazards such as flash flooding.
The process of urban development has been favorable for the establishment of public services within the urban areas. Individuals living in the larger cities enjoy, for example, adequate policing and health services, counseling services and the opportunity to become civically engaged.