The Advantages and Disadvantages of Urban Living

Jun 10, 2014 by

Living in an urban area can be a dynamic, energetic experience. However it is not for everyone. If you are considering whether or not the city life could be for you, consider these advantages and disadvantages. Once you get an idea of what a city is like, you can decide if it’s the location for you.

Urban Living


Many people love being surrounded by the sight of skyscrapers and the noise of traffic and street musicians. Here are some other great things about living the city life:

People. Big cities brim with people. This can be a wonderful atmosphere for extroverts, especially extroverts who are single and want a situation that will allow them to meet a lot of other people. Introverts can enjoy the city life as well. Even when there are people everywhere, it’s still possible to keep to yourself.

Another advantage of a location with a high population is cultural diversity. You will meet all kinds of interesting people in the city. Urban populations are usually much more diverse than rural ones.

Proximity. Living right in the middle of a city means you live close to all kinds of restaurants, shopping malls, businesses, and entertainment hubs. Businesses and services are so close to each other that you can usually walk or bike everywhere you need to go.

Living in a city also means you are close to a wide variety of job opportunities.

Public Transportation. Because everything is so close in proximity, you really don’t need to own a car when you live in a city. For anything too far to walk or bike to, you will typically be able to jump on a bus or a train. Usually seasonal or yearly passes for public transportation are cheaper than paying for gas (and better than suffering through traffic!).


Not everyone enjoys living in a “concrete jungle.” Here are some of the drawbacks that urban life can have. If you don’t consider these factors disadvantages, but merely small annoyances, you may be a city-dweller at heart.

Price. The cost of living in a city is usually higher than the cost of living in a rural or suburban area.Cities usually have markets and department stores rather than grocery stores and super centers. Markets and department stores are usually much more expensive. Real estate and rent usually costs more in the city as well, although, according to Streetcar, urban real estate can be a great investment.

People. Living in a highly-populated area can have its disadvantages as well. These include increased crime rate, faster spread of disease, more noise, and more traffic on the road. Living in a suburban or rural area is much more private and quiet.

Pollution. Cities have dirtier air and streets than suburban areas because they are so highly-concentrated with factories, buildings, and people. There are fewer trees and less open, green space.

Pavement. Nature enthusiasts’ biggest complaint about urban living is often that they get tired of pavement—they want to feel natural earth beneath their feet.

It’s hard to say which is ultimately “better”—living in the country or living in the city. It all depends on what kind of conditions you prefer. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. As long as you know what you are getting yourself into, you can be happy living anywhere.

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