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Urban Trends and Policy in China


  • Lamia Kamal-Chaoui


  • Edward Leeman
  • Zhang Rufei


China has become the world’s largest urban nation, with over 600 million urban citizens today. Projections indicate that this level may reach 900 million in 2030. The way this urbanisation process is managed will have important policy implications for China and beyond. This paper provides an introduction to urban trends and policies in China. It describes urban growth trends, where and in what kinds of cities growth is occurring, how China’s cities are governed, and how public policy has influenced the extent, pace, and spatial distribution of urbanisation. As China continues to integrate with the globalising economy, its competitiveness will increasingly be driven by the capacities of its metropolitan regions to improve the productivity of enterprises in ever-widening supply chains. The report concludes with a description of some of the key policy challenges facing central and local urban governments in this global context, including: 1) institutional constraints to markets and factor mobility; 2) environmental challenges; 3) ensuring equity and helping vulnerable groups; and 4) metropolitan governance.

Suggested Citation

  • Lamia Kamal-Chaoui & Edward Leeman & Zhang Rufei, 2009. "Urban Trends and Policy in China," OECD Regional Development Working Papers 2009/1, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:govaab:2009/1-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Danzer, Alexander M. & Dietz, Barbara & Gatskova, Ksenia & Schmillen, Achim, 2014. "Showing off to the new neighbors? Income, socioeconomic status and consumption patterns of internal migrants," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 230-245.
    2. Mehtap Akgüç & Corrado Giulietti & Klaus Zimmermann, 2014. "The RUMiC longitudinal survey: fostering research on labor markets in China," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-14, December.
    3. Asian Development Bank (ADB), 2013. "Strategic Options for Urbanization in the People's Republic of China: Key Findings," ADB Reports RPT135557-2, Asian Development Bank (ADB), revised 16 Dec 2013.
    4. Kostka, Genia, 2014. "Barriers to the implementation of environmental policies at the local level in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7016, The World Bank.
    5. Yan, Dan & Schneider, Uwe A. & Schmid, Erwin & Huang, He Qing & Pan, Lihu & Dilly, Oliver, 2013. "Interactions between land use change, regional development, and climate change in the Poyang Lake district from 1985 to 2035," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 10-21.
    6. Xinyue Ye & Yichun Xie, 2012. "Re-examination of Zipf’s law and urban dynamic in China: a regional approach," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 49(1), pages 135-156, August.
    7. Desmet, Klaus & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2014. "Analyzing urban systems : have megacities become too large ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6872, The World Bank.
    8. Jiadan Li & Jinsong Deng & Ke Wang & Jun Li & Tao Huang & Yi Lin & Haiyan Yu, 2014. "Spatiotemporal Patterns of Urbanization in a Developed Region of Eastern Coastal China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(7), pages 1-17, June.
    9. Claudia Ambruosi & Giulia Baldinelli & Emanuela Cappuccini & Federica Migliardi, 2010. "Metropolitan Governance: Which Policies for Globalizing Cities?," Transition Studies Review, Springer;Central Eastern European University Network (CEEUN), vol. 17(2), pages 320-331, June.

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