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 12: Conclusion

Learning from Chengdu

Ye Yumin and Richard LeGates


The first half of the twenty-first century is a critical period for speeding up China’s industrialization, urbanization, and modernization, and for building a well-off society. After China’s reform and opening up beginning in 1978, China’s socioeconomic development has made great progress, making a significant contribution to the prosperity and development of China and the rest of the world. However, China’s development pathway from 1978 until close to the present time has taken the city as virtually the only focus for development and made economic growth the goal beyond all else. This urban-centered growth-only philosophy has led to serious social conflict and problems that are hindering sustainable socioeconomic development in China. A particularly severe problem is the growing urban–rural gap and the resultant large-scale unstable floating population. Many other developing countries are experiencing similar pressures and opportunities and have embarked on development paths more or less like China’s.

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