Urbanization is a process whereby an increasing number of formerly rural residents become Residents in towns or urban centres. It can also be defined as a process whereby the Rural areas develop into towns or cities.
The following are factors that have favored urbanization in Uganda:
Climate, The central region is more urbanized than any other part of the country partly due to its favourable climatic conditions. The relatively hot and wet climate attracts activities like settlement and other human activities like agriculture that provide food to the big urban population e.g. Kampala city, Mukono Municipality, Masaka, and many others.
The generally flat and gentle slope landscape has also favoured the development of Urban centers. This is because this kind of landscape makes it easy and relatively cheaper for the establishment of the necessary infrastructures like Residential buildings, roads that consequently encourage urbanization e.g. Jinja Masaka municipality.
Drainage, the well-drained areas encourage the development of urban centres. Such areas They are suitable for settlement thus attracting relatively high population concentrations in those particular areas that consequently develop into the town Councils e.g. Kyenjojo and municipalities like Fort Portal.
Areas that are covered by relatively light or scanty vegetation cover especially Grasslands are easy to clear for the establishment of the necessary infrastructure Like roads, residential settlements such areas have attracted relatively high population making such areas to develop into urban centres examples of such areas include Gulu municipality, Lira Municipality, Katakwi town and many others.
The nature of soils, the areas with relatively fertile soils have also favoured urbanisation in such away that such areas support crop growing that provides adequate food stuffs on which the big urban population feed e.g. Kampala city, Mukono municipality partly developed because people depended on the food from the alluvial fertile soils around the lake Victoria shores e.g. kayunga,mpigi, Wakiso etc. Mbale municipality depends on food from the fertile volcanic soils around mt. Elgon in Sironko, Manafwa etc.
Migrations, this has encouraged urbanisation in such a way that people move from one area to another for various reasons more likely for economic and social. The resultant effect of this is that many of those go to urban centres thus increasing the rate of urbanisation even more. e.g. people move from Ibanda to Mbarara municipality, from Sironko to Mbale municipality.
The government policy of gazetting new districts, municipalities and town councils. This attracts a big population in such areas due to the associated job opportunities and improved social services like supply of electricity and water, improved security. This in turn has boosted the process of urbanisation in areas like Kisoro municipality, Gulu municipality etc.
Industrialisation has also favoured urbanisation. Areas that have industrial establishments and services attract many people who seek for employment opportunities and other related activities. This partly explains why areas like Jinja,Tororo ,Kasese municipalities developed into major urban centres.
The availability of trade opportunities and markets. People are always attracted to areas that avail to them trade opportunities especially those engaged in trade and commerce as a business, therefore, areas with such opportunities have attracted big concentrations of population and consequently, such areas have turned into major urban centres e.g. Busia municipality, Arua municipality and Kampala city.
The presence of improved infrastructure like roads, electricity and power stations, housing, banks etc. Many People tend to settle near such facilities because of the convenience that comes along with such. Such areas begin like small trading centres then later into town councils and finally into Municipalities e.g. Jinja municipality, Kabale municipality etc.
Availability of an adequate supply of clean water for both domestic and industrial use. Water is a basic need for life, therefore, its presence in a particular area attracts human settlement and this partly explains why urban centres like Jinja the municipality, Entebbe municipality, Kampala city that are near lake Victoria that provides water have become major urban centres.
The The presence of mining activities has also favoured the development of different areas into major urban centres. This is due to the fact that mining activities attract human settlement due to available job opportunities and other related Businesses and consequently those areas have turned into major urban centres e.g. Tororo and Kasese municipalities due to limestone mining, Kajjansi town council due to clay mining, Hoima municipality due to oil exploration and mining etc.
The influence of agricultural activities. Areas with large plantation farms have turned into major urban centres because people tend to settle around due to the available job opportunities in the plantation farms and also the Improved social facilities and services provided by the plantation farms e.g. lugazi municipality, kinyara trading centre due to sugar cane plantations.
Some areas have developed into major urban centres partly because of the tourism activities. These activities have led to the establishment of facilities like hotels, hostels and other related tourism related businesses that attract high Concentration settlements. Such areas include Kasese municipality near Queens Elizabeth national park and mt. Rwenzori, Jinja municipality near the source if the Nile etc.
Availability of vast vacant land for the establishment of the necessary infrastructure like residential houses, roads, recreational facilities and also for further expansion. Areas with vast land therefore have encouraged urbanisation foristence Mbale municipality, Masaka municipality, Gulu municipality etc.
Some areas have developed into urban centres as a result of the influence of the already existing urban centres. As the population increase in the existing town, it spreads over the surrounding areas and as a result there will be also development of other urban centres that starts with a few shops and some residential houses then later into a major urban centre.e.g. Mukono municipality, Nansana municipality ,Nsangi trading centre due to the existence of Kampala city.
Proximity to borders. Some areas that are located at the borders of the country are used as handling points for imports and exports this is also associated with other related businesses that attract many people who intend to benefit from such businesses and as a result, these areas have developed into urban centres e.g. Busia, Tororo, Malaba along Uganda – Kenya border.
The presence of fishing activities in a particular area can also facilitate urbanisation. Areas that are associated with fishing activities like ports and landing sites tent to attract a big population due to the job and business opportunities around such areas and with time some of those areas have developed in urban centres e.g.kasenyi trading centre, Bukakata trading centre around L Vitoria and many others.
Improved security also encourages urbanisation. People are always attracted to areas where they feel secure for settlement and business therefore with time such areas that are secure facilitate high urbanisation rates and this partly explains why Kampala city, Jinja municipality,Iganga municipality have developed into major urban centres.
The presence of research and education centres has also facilitated urbanisation in some areas. Areas that have high institutions of learning like colleges, universities and secondary schools attract a big population that seek for those services and as a result, other related services crop up like accommodation facilities, the supply of electricity, water etc. This is evident in Kampala city, Mbarara municipality and many others.
The influence of improved technology. Areas, where there is relatively improved technology, are associated with better mechanisms of production thus facilitating things like industrialisation together with innovativeness and these attract many people who Come with different skills thus encouraging urbanisation e.g. Kampala city, Jinja municipality etc.
Availability of skilled labour. The skilled labour helps in building the necessary infrastructure like roads, supply of water and electricity plus managing the urban administrative authorities all these facilitate urbanisation therefore many areas with skilled labour have developed into major urban centres.e.g. Mbarara municipality, Mbale municipality etc.
Natural increase in population in some areas. In some areas, there are relatively high population growth rates and consequently a high population and such areas have also attracted supply of essential services provided by the government e.g. hospitals, electricity, water thus developing into major urban centres e.g. Iganga municipality, Mbale municipality, Jinja municipality etc.
Availability of adequate capital that is used in the construction and establishment of the necessary infrastructure like roads, electricity, water, for the urban population. Capital is also important in the day to day running of the urban centre like paying salaries and wages to the workers and many other things therefore areas with adequate capital have developed into urban centres e.g. kabale municipality, Masaka municipality etc.