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Development Strategy and Regional Economy

A Study on the Spatial Pattern of China’s Urbanization Drive(No.119, 2017)


By Li Shantong, Department of Development Strategy and Regional Economy, DRC; Meng Tingchun & Gu Hao, School of Public Policy & Management, Tsinghua University

Research report No.119, 2017 (Total 5194) 2017-9-18

Abstract: In the new era, China’s urbanization development has moved swiftly, and the spatial pattern of urbanization has undergone various changes. The data collection and analysis were based on census, statistical yearbook and transportation construction programs and the research paper illustrated three obvious characteristics of spatial pattern changes in China’s urbanization drive from 2000 to 2010. First, a large number of people moved to large cities and the number of small cities was reduced, and the number of urban residents in counties grew significantly. Second, regional development was uneven. The urban system developed steadily in the northeast region with Shenyang and Harbin being the main forces to promote regional urbanization. The eastern region was the core area to boost the development of urbanization in China. Megacities and large cities were expanding remarkably, while urban people from the central and western regions were inclined to move to both large cities and small cities. Third, various types of transportation network developed rapidly, and urban transportation network nodes became more tightly connected. Fourth, the research paper puts forward three policy options for urbanization development drive in the new era in light of the characteristics of spatial pattern evolution.

Key words: urbanization, spatial pattern, city size, transportation network