Ian Johnson reports on a new plan by China to rapidly urbanize its population. The plan, which would bring an additional 100 million residents out of the country and into the country’s urban settings, states that “urbanization is modernization” and “urbanization is an inevitable requirement for promoting social progress…”
If its goals are met, China would rebalance the country’s population to 60 percent urban by 2020. The plan is actually a scaled-back version of a proposal last year. “The plan floated last year by the government’s powerful planning commission called for 70 percent of the country’s nearly 1.4 billion population to be living in cities by 2025. The current plan aims for 60 percent by 2020,” writes Johnson.
The plan includes “30 chapters, covering topics that include Internet access, building standards, environmental protection and safety.” But the “most ambitious part of the urbanization plan is to better integrate former rural residents who are currently living in cities.” To do so, the plan will “[provide] better access to schools and hospitals for 100 million former farmers already living in cities but currently denied many basic services. Underpinning these projections would be government spending to build roads, railways, hospitals, schools and housing.”