Living in a big city isn’t for everyone. It’s a fast-paced environment, which means constantly being on the go. Now, with remote work becoming a regular option at workplaces, there’s nothing stopping people from moving out of their city. If you’re thinking of relocating to a big city, here are 20 facts to consider before moving.
High Cost of Living
Expenses for living, food, and entertainment are higher in big cities. Renovated supports this by writing, “While there may be more job opportunities in the city, the cost of rent, food and entertainment will eliminate much of your monthly earnings.” Sometimes people have to share apartments due to unaffordable housing or have a seriously tight budget.
Limited Personal Space
Areas in big cities are more crowded; this includes both public spaces and living quarters. It can be challenging to adapt to dense urban living, especially if you weren’t brought up in a big city. This limited personal space can reduce your level of privacy and personal comfort, so it’s no wonder people are moving to smaller towns.
Traffic and Congestion
Big cities mean long commutes and frequent traffic jams. For example, The Big City Blog writes, “traffic can also be heavy in certain areas, which could make it difficult or time-consuming to get around town during rush hour times.” It’s not always great to rely on public transportation, as it can become overcrowded, especially during rush hour.
Noise and Air Pollution
There will also be persistent noise in urban areas; this can be from traffic or people, and while you may become used to it, nothing compares to the peace and quiet of a small town. The pollution from a city will also affect the quality of the air, which can cause health problems.
High Housing Costs
Properties are so expensive that people prefer to rent, as it’s all they can afford to do. This is supported by the Urban Land Institute in London, which writes, “Impacted by the rise of the sharing economy, and a demand for greater flexibility, in many cities the proportion of residents who prefer to rent rather than buy their homes is rising.”
Limited Healthcare Access
It can be hard to access healthcare facilities in big cities because they’re so busy. There are also inadequate resources for those who are uninsured or underinsured, leaving them feeling like there isn’t any help there for them. There can even be a delay in receiving treatments due to how hectic a big city hospital can become.
If a city is overpopulated, it can put a strain on the infrastructure and the city’s resources. There’s increased competition for jobs and services, leaving many people unemployed or in jobs they don’t want. A high population can also affect the environment, causing unsightly things such as litter or high amounts of pollution.
Not everyone wants to live in a fast-paced environment. Faster Capital backs this up by writing, “One of the most significant perils of a fast-paced lifestyle is the constant feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed.” A fast-paced lifestyle means there’s less time for fun or relaxation, and this causes significant health issues.
Lack of Green Spaces
Big cities mean there’s limited access to green spaces or parks. It reduces your options when it comes to taking part in outdoor activities. This can really have an impact on both mental and physical health, as being outdoors is a way to relax. While big cities may have some green areas, they’re usually overcrowded and very unrelaxing.
It’s hard to feel like you’re part of a community in big cities. In small towns, you’re more likely to know people, which helps to build connections with the town’s residents. It’s easy to start feeling lonely in big cities, especially if family isn’t close, and sometimes the big crowds can make you feel even lonelier.
Brookings writes, “All cities need to address issues of street crime—the very fundamental basis of public safety—as well as organized crime.” There are higher crime rates in more urbanized areas, so there’s usually a higher need for personal security measures, such as home alarms. There’s increased anxiety about personal and property safety in bigger cities.
Overcrowding in big cities can also have an effect on schools. If schools are overcrowded, then it can be a more competitive environment for children, which isn’t healthy for them. There’s also a higher cost of private education. Moving to a small town would mean a relaxed school environment and affordable private schools.
Having a fast-paced city job means there isn’t much room to have a work-life balance. There can be extended work hours and significant job pressures, which isn’t something you’re likely to get in smaller towns. Working too much can have an impact on your relationships and even cause health issues such as stress.
There can be so much to do in big cities from a social perspective that it can become overwhelming. It can be hard to find time for yourself as you’ll either be working, at parties, or out with friends. It can also be difficult to connect with people if you don’t have enough time to build genuine connections.
Planning engineer Monika Palani writes, “One of the primary causes of the housing crisis in cities is the imbalance between supply and demand.” This balance means there’s so much uncertainty that comes with finding a home in a city. Rent prices are usually incredibly high, and this is another reason why people are moving to smaller towns.
Cities Are Constantly Changing
If you were born in a big city, chances are it doesn’t look anything like it did when you were a kid. It can lead to a sense of displacement for long-term residents as their small area in the city doesn’t feel like home anymore. This means communities start to lose their character and heritage.
Public systems and facilities can start to feel strained as they’re constantly in use and usually overcrowded. It can cause delays in services and cause the city to not be kept up to the high standards that we sometimes see in small towns. Strains on the infrastructure are going to have impacts on everyday life.
There are visible gaps between the wealthy and low-income residents in big cities. For example, Imperial writes, “In the US, the gap between the rich and the poor has become much more pronounced.” This gap creates social tensions and disparities, which you won’t see as much in a small town due to a higher sense of community.
Challenges in Raising a Family
Due to high property costs, it can be difficult to find a family home that’s spacious enough. You’ll also want a family home to be in a nice area, but this isn’t always possible, as houses in nicer areas will be unaffordable. There are also limited family-friendly spaces and fewer community activities.
Difficulty in Establishing Identity
It can be hard to stand out from the crowd when you’re living in a big city. Workplace environments are extremely competitive, and it often means you can feel lost or not recognized for your efforts. It can be hard to find genuine connections with people, as there isn’t a sense of community.
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