Urbanization refers to the process in which people move from rural areas to cities; it also involves the transformation of rural areas into cities. It is a historical as well as contemporary worldwide phenomenon, with criminological, cultural, economic, environmental, and social dimensions and implications.

Although anatomically modern humans originated about 200,000 years ago, cities have existed for fewer than 10,000 years. Social scientists often claim that human history has been marked by three “urban revolutions.” The first urban revolution—from around 8000 to 2000 b.c.e.—occurred with the advent of agriculture; animal husbandry, ...

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