In China's Model New Town Urbanization Equals Ghettoization

Outside of Tianjin, in northern China, a model new town has become a symbol of something less exemplary - the country's struggles with urbanization. Broken promises and scant opportunities are creating trying conditions for former farmers.

"In 2005, Huaming Township was chosen to be a demonstration for successful, planned urbanization," writes Ian Johnson. But broken promises, shoddy construction, and a lack of opportunities have led to social dysfunction and a rash of suicides for uprooted farmers.   

"As China pushes ahead with government-led urbanization, a program expected to be endorsed at a Communist Party Central Committee meeting that began Saturday, many worry that the scores of new housing developments here may face the same plight as postwar housing projects in Western countries. Meant to solve one problem, they may be creating a new set of troubles that could plague Chinese cities for generations," explains Johnson.

“'We’re talking hundreds of millions of people who are moving into these places, but the standard of living for these relocatees has actually dropped,' said Lynette Ong, a University of Toronto political scientist who has studied the resettlement areas. 'On top of that is the quality of the buildings — there was a lot of corruption, and they skimped on materials.'”

Full Story: New China Cities: Shoddy Homes, Broken Hope


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.