Planners in China have called on a new model in the urban development of the nation. This strategy was supported by the State Council, which is Chinas highest level of government. The National New-Style Urbanization Plan represents an all-inclusive strategy document that is grounded on the view that the growing cities will remain to be the nation’s main economic instruments. Nevertheless, with the current model of urbanization, a complete overhaul is required to make the metropolis more accommodative and productive. This is part of the planning shift that is currently underway in China, according to the John Law, AICP, and planning leader in Skidmore. According to the Law, the document by the planners is beneficial to the government in improving urban environment (Johnson 30).
For many decades, China has experienced a massive internal migration of people in its history. According to the World Bank report, approximately 260 million people have moved from rural settings to urban areas. This migration has been visible in all urban cities, especially in expressways, railroads, several rising apartments, and high populations in shopping centers. Migration to urban centers has enabled several people to improve their standards of living from poverty to middle and upper class levels. The nation is at present planning for the next wave of migration and wants to handle it in a different manner. China is still lagging behind in its urbanization developmentas compared to other nations that are developing at the same level, for instance, Brazil, Mexico, and Malaysia.According to the World Bank report, this is the reason China plans to construct 100 million residential places in all cities by 2020. Nevertheless, the existing model of urbanization in China maintains a tight barrier over this development. Therefore, if the new plan is to be implemented, it will bring out the new phase of China urban centers and transform the local government finances that will result from revenues from the infrastructure developments.
Evolution of the Plan
The plan is believed to have the full support of the Premier Li Keqiang who has been associated with economic reforms in China and the second man in command after the President. Through Li, the plan also has the backing and participation of other non-governmental entities like the World Bank. In as much as the aim of the plan is to enhance urbanization, its real objective is to boost economic transformation within urban cities through social and economic development. The main transformations that are targeted by the reforms are labor mobility, land control, and regulation and local government finance.
Smart Growth Chinese Style
The plan for developing the Chinese urban cities also incorporate the modern physical model and development. Currently, most of the Chinese cities are constructed on an edge city model that is not connected to further development, thus restricting other developments. This has also locked the cites from attracting investments. This implies that the plan is an effective opportunity to transform the physical model of development in the cities (Johnson 34). This development model has been applied in leading cities in nations like Japan and the United States.
Despite the plan being significant to the nation, the most significant step is the implementation. This calls for adequate supporting laws that will back the transformation as provided in the planning. Several entities need to be involved in the implementation process of the plan like the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the respective ministries of local governments (Johnson 34). According to Chinese experts, the plan is notnew to them unless it is implemented. Furthermore, due to political dynamics that are involved, the plan can also be delayed. The main challenges are eliminating the systems that have been established by the cities and residents through investments. Moreover, the plan also contradicts with the government since it advocates for medium sized cities while the government advocates for migration of massive workers from rural to urban cities.This conflict creates an undesirable situation.
The planners have responded to these challenges by stating that the plan will not automatically change everything in China but will be conservative and any rapid change will have an approval from the government. In the protection of culture, the plan will also incorporate the public opinion. This will allow it to integrate some of the regions’ unique features that will reflect the local culture.
Therefore, the New Urbanization Plan represents an important milestone in the development of the urban setting in China and the general economic revolution. It is a clear indication that the nation needs to shift from the old models of investment in the growth of cities to pave way for the new development framework. This trend is characterized by quality growth over quantity. The plan will also see China experience rejuvenated transformation in urban centers from the current settings that will focus on environmental and cultural assets and quality of life.
Johnson, Donald. “China Rethinks Urbanization“. American Planning Association. pp. 30-35. (November 2014).
The World Bank Report. Urban China: Toward Efficient Inclusive and Sustainable Urbanization