Introduction: A New Path of Urbanization and Urban Governance in China

Part of the Governing China in the 21st Century book series (GC21)


China has undergone a remarkable process of urbanization since the mid-1980s. The speed, scale, and size of this process has received world-wide attention (LeGates 2014; Savitch et al. 2014). Figure 1.1 shows the growth of the urban population in China between 1950 and 2015. In 2011, China’s urban population exceeded the rural population for the first time in the country’s history. In 2015, over 56% of the total population in China resided in urban areas. The rapid reduction of the rural population since 1995 occurred for two reasons. The first is the vast number of migrants moving from the countryside to cities. The second is so-called “localized urbanization” (jiu di cheng shi hua), which refers to the phenomenon whereby rural residents obtained urban household registration after the collectively owned village land was taken over by the municipalities. In both cases, it is difficult for these previously rural residents to receive equal social welfare as urban residents, which poses a significant challenge for urban management (Ye 2011).


Urban Governance Town And Village Enterprises (TVEs) Extended Metropolitan Regions (EMRs) Shanghai Model Fiscal Capability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Friedmann, J. (2005). China’s Urban Transition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  2. LeGates, R. T. (2014). Visions, Scale, Tempo, and form in China’s Emerging City-Regions. Cities, 41, 171–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Savitch, H. V., Gross, J., & Ye, L. (2014). Do Chinese Cities Break the Global Mold? Cities, 41, 155–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Shin, H. B. (2014). Contesting Speculative Urbanisation and Strategising Discontents. City, 18(4–5), 509–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Walder, A. G. (1995). Local Governments as Industrial Firms: An Organizational Analysis of China’s Transitional Economy. American Journal of Sociology, 101(2), 263–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Wu, F., & Zhang, J. (2007). Planning the Competitive City-Region: The Emergence of Strategic Development Plan in China. Urban Affairs Review, 42(5), 714–740.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Xu, J., & Yeh, A. G. O. (2010). Planning Mega-City Regions in China: Rationales and Policies. Progress in Planning, 73, 17–22.Google Scholar
  8. Ye, L. (2009, December). Regional Government and Governance in China and the United States. Public Administration Review, 69, S116–S121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ye, L. (2011). Demographic Transition, Developmentalism and Social Security in China. Social Policy and Administration, 45(6), 678–693.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ye, L. (2013). Urban Transformation and Institutional Policies: Case Study of Mega-Region Development in China’s Pearl River Delta. Journal of Urban Planning and Development, 139(6), 292–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ye, L. (2014). State-Led Metropolitan Governance in China: Making Integrated City Regions. Cities, 41, 200–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ye, L., & Wu, A. M. (2014). Urbanization, Land Development and Land Financing: Evidence from Chinese Cities. Journal of Urban Affairs, 36(S1), 354–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Zhang, T. (2006). From Intercity Competition to Collaborative Planning: The Case of Yangtze River Delta Region in China. Urban Affairs Review, 42(1), 26–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Zhang, T. (2007). Innovation in Chinese Urban Governance: The Shanghai Experience. In R. Hambleton & J. S. Gross (Eds.), Governing Cities in a Global Era: Urban Innovation, Competition, and Democratic Reform (pp. 113–124). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Chinese Public Administration Research, School of Government, Sun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations