- Increasing Cities and Shrinking Regions (Increasing Cities and Shrinking Regions: Migration in China’s Urbanization— —Cases from Sichuan and Henan Provinces)   click here to open paper content682 kb
by    Zhang, Li | cityzh@sina.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
After decades of massive migration in China’s rapid urbanization, a
phenomenon of increasing cities and shrinking regions came into being in
the economically lesser developed provinces. Based on two plan projects in
Sichuan and Henan Province, this paper will study the new spatial
phenomenon and forward some suggestions.
The movement of population from countryside to city was the main part of
China[simplequote]s urbanization. The flow directions included both the
movement from countryside to nearby cities and the movement from
countryside to long-distance cities. The massive population flow often came
from the economically backward area, where there were no enough job
opportunities for the labor force who eagered to leave countryside. After
about decades of massive migration in China's rapid urbanization, a new
phenomenon of increasing cities and shrinking regions came into being in
these areas, which was, the total population of region was decreasing while
the population of cities was increasing. Now the spatial phenomenon was
regular in most areas of the economically backward provinces, such as
Sichuan Province and Henan Province.
Migration was an important research field in Chinese sociology and urban
geography of China. The focus was changing with the change of migration
pattern, which can be seen in The Moving Pattern and Way of
China[simplequote]s Migration (Cai Fang,2001)
and The
Report of China[simplequote]s Migration 2012(China[simplequote]s Population
and Family Planning Commission,2012)
In this paper the author will study the new phenomenon of increasing cities
and shrinking regions in China's migration with the perspective of urban
geography and urban plan. Based on two ongoing plan projects, which are the
City System Plan of Sichuan Province(a legal regional plan in China) and
Xinyang City Master Plan in Henan Province, the paper will study the
influences of massive migration in shrinking areas, such as the change in
the population structure, economic development, social harmony, etc.
Statistical analysis will be applied with the use of census data and
statistical Yearbook. Social investigations will also be adopted in the
research and planning progress.
The preliminary conclusions includes: the massive migration from
countryside to city helped China to become an urban country in an amazing
speed. Accompanied by the thriving cities, the countryside faced with
serious social problems because of the losing of elite, which leaded to the
uneven development between countryside and city, and caused the wide gap
between the shrinking region and the increasing region. China is faced with
a new area of overall transition at present. The massive population flow
from the backward region to the developed region will gradually decline,
and more and more back-flow of migration will happen, which will influence
the trends of china's urbanization. In the end, the paper will forward some
suggestions in regional level and local city level, which to do some help
for China's urbanization and planning practice.
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