The People's Urbanity of China

by: Saskia Vendel, Neville Mars




The concentration of people and activity within China forces us to rethink the urban and population density numbers. Within the limits of PUC* the combined demographic, social, and economic forces give rise to hyper-speed urbanization on an unseen scale. The policies installed to keep this urbanization away from large cities is stimulating scattered low level developments (policy sprawl*). Migration to the larger cities is often of a temporary nature (rollover migration*), and mainly contributes to peripheral urbanization. As a result, new forms of urbanization at the village and township level have emerged, such as doorstep urbanization* and brickification*. The intensity of recent mushrooming suggest village growth will dictate expansion patterns for decades to come. These phenomena represent the most space extensive settlement types. In addition, both grassroots industrialization (TVEs*) and officially planned economic and industrial development zones act as pull fact ors for investments and migrants away from the urban core. The concept of PUC* introduces a paradox. China’s urban landscape is distinctly concentrated on one-third of the nation’s surface. The projected growth of both population and built-volume for 2020 reveals over layered areas with the density of a continuous urban region, yet without such coherence. The distinction between urban and rural conditions is steadily lost as China moves towards a hyper-suburban road dependent landscape. The space available however won’t possibly allow for suburban solutions such as have emerged in the US. Stimulating the compact urban growth of larger settlements through job incentives and policies which concentrate development will be pivotal – not just for a more efficient and sustainable layout - but to allow China to keep evolving toward a prosperous and advanced nation.

See the borders of PUC in Google Earth ... FIle HERE




PUC slideshow

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