Cities: Good Or Bad? Essay, Research Paper
Cities: Good or Bad
The invention and rise of the city was both the best and the worst the human race has ever done. There are two opinions on the subject and I believe both are valid. In one corner people say that cities ruined man s already perfect way of life. They believe cities led to many flaws we have in society today and that humans would be better off without them. On the other hand, some people believe that cities are the best thing that could have happened to our planet. They say that the shift to cities made so many advances possible and helped our race greatly.
First we have the view that cities were the worst thing that ever happened to this planet. These people believed that the hunter-gatherers of old must have been crazy to settle down and farm. They believe that those hunter-gatherers had an abundant food supply and plentiful time for rest but that changed when they switched to an agricultural way of life. First off, these new farmers began having to work day and night to make sure their crop was well taken care of. Also, they had no system of trade so their diet consisted of what they grew, which was one or two crops. Not to mention what would happen if for some reason that season s harvest was unsuccessful? The point is also made that after this switch to agriculture people began to procreate more. It was said that the moving lifestyle of a hunter-gatherer was a natural birth control. With that gone, humans began having babies at a rate much larger than previously. This, in addition to the high density of people, will eventually lead to our current problem of having to struggle to meet the world food demand and never quite getting there. Cities have also increased the social gap and allowed much violence and illegal acts.
Second we have the view that cities are works of art that man invented for the better. People have this view say that man invented cities because they were the logical step in their social evolution. Man had the technology to grow enough food for this amount of people and so it made sense. Cities had enough living space to accommodate all the new births with room to spare. Also, cities had excellent leisure time activities, from parks to museums to the symphony. How would all these ever be possible in one location without cities? The invention of cities also led to an invention of massive amounts of new technology to be able to support the multitude of people. These include things ranging from sewer and waste management to better electric power. Without cities we would have none of this, or it would ve at least taken longer. Cities allowed the masses to live together, brought excellent leisure time activities to its citizens and spurred technology to new heights.
These two perspectives are definitely at opposite ends of the spectrum. They are both slighted to one side or the other, but each has its good points. The real truth is probably more in the middle of the two, as cities aren t problem free but aren t the cause of all problems in civilization today either. These do represent a controversy going on today though. Would we be better off without cities? Would the human race have been better people if we still gathered our food to this day? People of differences of opinions everyday but the truth is we will never truly know because people have already followed one path and we cannot go back and change that. So, for better or for worse, we re stuck.