Rapidly Changing Dynamics of Urbanization in China; Escalating Regional Inequalities and Urban Management Problems

  •  Ghulam Akhmat    
  •  Yu Bochun    


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A multitude of factors; tremendous urbanization after the economic reforms of 1978, particularly the open door policy, foreign direct investment, industrialization in the last two decades and globalization have shaken the dynamics of Chinese cityscape, especially in the coastal areas. Level of urbanization is expected to reach 50 percent of the total population, which was less than 20 percent in 1978; creating urban management problems and inter-regional inequality in china, which is the focus of this research study. Patterns of regional inequality across china’s macro regions differ from that across the provinces; within provinces and inequalities across regions also differ from that across the counties, which requires a multiscale approach to address these problems.  Factors of regional development in china differ considerably from Western countries, and theories of regional inequality remain less sensitive to the transition economies like China, which are undergoing dramatic restructuring. This study focused on the dramatic changes which China has been experiencing since the launch of economic reforms in 1978, which emphasizes decentralization, marketization, and globalization consequently, global and local forces have emerged as major forces shaping China’s regional inequalities and urban management problems.

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