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Understanding China's Urbanization

The Great Demographic, Spatial, Economic, and Social Transformation Li Zhang, Associate Professor, Department of Urban Planning, Tongji University, Shanghai, China, Richard LeGates, Emeritus Professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, San Francisco State University, US and Min Zhao, Professor, Department of Urban Planning, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
China’s urbanization is one of the great earth-changing phenomena of recent times. The way in which China continues to urbanize will have a critical impact on the world economy, global climate change, international relations and a host of other critical issues. Understanding and responding to China’s urbanization is of paramount importance to everyone. This book represents a unique exploration of the demographic, spatial, economic and social aspects of China’s urban transformation.
Extent: 432pp
Hardback Price: $160.00 Web: $144.00
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78347 473 8
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China’s urbanization is one of the great earth-changing phenomena of recent times. The way in which China continues to urbanize will have a critical impact on the world economy, global climate change, international relations and a host of other critical issues. Understanding and responding to China’s urbanization is of paramount importance to everyone. This book represents a unique exploration of the demographic, spatial, economic and social aspects of China’s urban transformation.

Based on years of fieldwork and data analysis from different types of cities and towns in every region of China, the authors present a detailed description of how China has urbanized since 1978 and an original theory about the way in which top-down and bottom-up policies have impacted urbanization. They describe China’s on-going urbanization process as a ‘double-dual’ transformation from a planned economy to a more market-oriented one and from a concern with the quantity to the quality of urbanization. In doing so, the authors provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date book on Chinese urbanization to date.

This scholarly study will appeal to academics and practitioners, including professors and postgraduate students of urban studies, planning, geography, Asian studies, and other social science disciplines and professional fields concerned with cities and urban development. Professionals involved in international development, particularly in China and elsewhere in Asia, will be particularly interested in the book.
‘Collaborated by Chinese and American scholars, Understanding China's Urbanization opens up a new channel to disseminate Chinese studies to the world. Highly readable, the book provides fine-grained materials and detailed information on Chinese urbanization. Li Zhang, Richard LeGates and Min Zhao effectively convey an indigenous perspective on Chinese urban futures and present a picture with sufficient complexity and wide coverage.’
– Fulong Wu, University College London, UK

'A most comprehensive book about urbanization in China, with in-depth insights from a talented scholarly team. This book is far more than a snapshot of the Chinese story, it reveals the important developments that have occured as China has transitioned into a dynamic urban country.'
– Shi Nan, Secretary General, Urban Planning Society of China

‘Zhang, LeGates, and Zhao’s book builds on the voluminous literature on China’s urbanization by adding new data, findings, insights, perspectives, and recommendations. Both academically sophisticated and reader-friendly, the book surveys and critiques research in and outside China and highlights new phenomena in urbanization, governance, migration, foreign direct investment, and city clusters. Richly decorated with illustrations as well as the authors’ original statistical and field analyses, the book is a much welcome multidisciplinary contribution to understanding a burning question in China.’
– C. Cindy Fan, University of California, Los Angeles, US

‘This is a book full of fascinating ideas that have been accumulated over the years through in-depth engagement with Chinese urbanization research and urban planning practice. The book offers an original and articulate story of Chinese urbanization, supported by up-to-date information and analysis of institutional, regional and sectoral dimensions, as well as a critical discussion of the development and opportunities associated with large city clusters and small towns.’
– Sun Sheng Han, The University of Melbourne, Australia

‘Understanding China's Urbanization is a comprehensive account of the processes, driving forces, and outcomes of urbanization in China. Drawing upon a wealth of theoretical perspectives from multiple disciplines, the book offers a useful framework of analysis – the double dual transition model. It also provides a rich array of evidence to show how exogenous and endogenous forces have shaped the path of China’s urban transformation.’
– Weiping Wu, Tufts University, US

‘This thorough book is valuable reading to academics in fields relating to planning and development, as well as to practitioners, be they government officials, development workers or professionals in the private sector. Furthermore, it is relevant not only to those interested in China but to other countries that can learn from China’s experience.’
– Environment & Urbanization
Contents: Introduction 1. Understanding China’s Urbanization 2. Evolution, Status, and Reform of Hukou 3. Governments, Administrative Divisions and Urban Policies 4. Regional Policies and Regional Urbanization 5. Globalization, Foreign Direct Investment and China’s Urbanization 6. Population Flows and Semi-urbanization 7. China’s Evolving City System and Large City Clusters 8. Towns and Rural Urbanization 9. Double Dual-transformation: Understanding Urbanization with Chinese Characteristics 10. Conclusion Index