Handbook on Transport and Urban Transformation in China
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Handbook on Transport and Urban Transformation in China

Edited by Chia-Lin Chen, Haixiao Pan, Qing Shen and James J. Wang

Since 1978, when China embarked on a new period of economic reforms and introduced open door policies, it has experienced a great urban transformation. The role of transport has proved indispensable in this unprecedented rapid urbanisation and economic growth. As the first research-focused book dedicated to this important topic, the Handbook on Transport and Urban Transformation in China offers new insight into the various opportunities and challenges brought by fast-paced motorization and urban development, and explores them in broad spatial-economic, environmental, social, and institutional dimensions.
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Chapter 9: Transport and rural development in China

Dijia Gong


The Chinese proverb ‘building roads is the first step to richness’ explains a close relationship between transport and rural development, which is no exception for the most remote and least developed regions. This chapter summarizes the key features of rural transport development and how rural transport closely interacts with rural and rural–urban development in China after the 1978 reform. Chronologically, under varied conditions, three phases are identified, namely slow, rapid, and steady development of rural road construction and service provision. Spatially, with a vast territory, great differences exist in the natural environment, level of socioeconomic development, causing obvious territorial imbalance in rural transport development, which is classified in five categories. With the policy intervention of new-type urbanization, urban–rural integration and beautiful countryside construction, trip features in rural areas have changed. The optimization for future rural public transport development is proposed from the dimensions of cognition, system, technique, operation and management.

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