- The Development Tendency of China's urban spatial Structure    click here to open paper content660 kb
by    Wang, Kai | caupdwk@sohu.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
In the past 20 years the urbanization rate has grown from 18% to 42.9% in China. Urbanization has already become an important issue for development. The case study deals with the changing urbanization policies and the national spatial pattern from the 1980s onwards.

Changing urbanization polices and the national spatial structure of China

For the over 20 years since reform and opening policy, China¡¯s economy has been constantly growing fast with rapid development of urbanization. The population of urban areas increased from 200 million in 1978 to 556 million in 2005, with urbanization rate growth from 18% to 42.9%, and great changes have taken place in urban and rural areas. By the end of the 2005, our country has 661 cities and 19,892 towns. Urbanization has already become an important measure to solve our country¡¯s employment issue, realize market expansion, and promote new type of industrialization. But there are several major problems of urban development. For example, the differences between urban and rural areas is huge, regional development is imbalanced, the international competitiveness of big cities is not strong, small towns¡¯ ability to accommodate population and industries is not displayed to the full and there is lack of integrated planning for regional development. According to the Urban Planning Act of China issued in 1990, the Ministry of Construction shall have the responsibility to organize and compile ''National Urban System Plan'', and guide the development of urban areas and trans-regional coordination throughout the country. From 1994, we study the urbanization policies and the national spatial pattern and we finished the new plan in 2006.

The plan predicated the tendency of urbanization in the future. In terms of predication of urbanization level, according to the development history of China¡¯s urbanization in the past 20 years and the socio-economic development trend in the next 20 years, the planning holds that the urbanization level of our country will be further improved, and the speed will steadily stand at an annual growth by 0.8-1 percentage point, and enter low speed and stable development period in 2025 or so. The urbanization rate of China in 2010 will reach 46~48%, and 55~58% in 2020. Moreover, it made the predication of provincial urbanization level forecast according to the trend of various provincial economic development and population growth.

The plan analysis the urban spatial layout based on the polycentric structure. In terms of national urban spatial layout, it is proposed to center on national central cities and regional ones, and organize regional economic activities, drive the axis with point and promote the whole situation with the axis. Foster poly-centers with national strategic significance and the impetus function so as to form urban spatial structure with sustainable development of large, big and small-sized cities by means of the framework with urban axis belts and poly-centers.
On the basis of the analysis of already finished national highway network, speedway network, railway network, passenger transport special network of the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Railways, the planning proposes comprehensive traffic strategy in urban development.

The plan presented the Cross regional urban development guidance for the implementation. According to the overall requirement of national urbanization and spatial layout, the planning proposed two types of spatial guidance. One is ''cities and areas to be developed and managed as key¡±, The other is ''cross provincial key coordinated areas'', mainly including basin coordinated area, coastal zone and offshore sea area, provincial border coordinated area, metropolis area, conurbation area as well as the coordinated area concerning mineral and other resources utilization£¬etc. Base on that, planning and guidance are proposed for 27 provincial areas and 4 municipalities directly under the central government.

national spatial structure
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