Coordinating Urban and Rural Development in China
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Coordinating Urban and Rural Development in China

Learning from Chengdu

Ye Yumin and Richard LeGates

This detailed study offers a succinct yet comprehensive introduction to China’s crucial policy to coordinate urban and rural development. It describes the theoretical, political, and economic reasons why China allowed a large gap between urban and rural incomes, public services, and quality of life to emerge, and the recent national and local government efforts to narrow this inequality.
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Chapter 8: Functional zones and economic growth

Learning from Chengdu

Ye Yumin and Richard LeGates


Cities need to address two central questions in coordinating urban and rural development and facilitating new urbanization processes: where people should move to and where money to finance development will come from. Without enough economic support in coordinated urban–rural development, it is impossible to realize the free flow of population between urban and rural areas and upgrade living standards. Chengdu was only able to solve the problem of where people would go and avoid social turbulence caused by chaotic population flows and institutional changes when they had solved the problem of where sufficient money was to come from to provide employment and government revenue to equalize and improve public services. Chengdu illustrates that in order to coordinate urban–rural development and to facilitate economic growth it is generally more important and safer for a city to develop its own local resources and own-source revenue than to rely on higher levels of government.

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