Potentially Dramatic Changes to China’s Urban Landscape

Global Business

Few countries have grown as fast as China. The mass rural migration to cities – hungry for labour – has put pressure on urban authorities to develop new growth models. The World Bank and China’s government have teamed up to find answers to questions on urbanization.  CCTV’s Rachelle Akuffo explains.

China Urbanization Outlook

China Urbanization Outlook

Few countries have grown as fast as China. The mass rural migration to cities, hungry for labour, has put pressure on urban authorities to develop new growth models. The World Bank and China's government have teamed up to find answers to questions on urbanization. CCTV's Rachelle Akuffo explains.

The role of China’s urbanization inthe economy was in focus during the IMF meetings Friday. The World Bank and China’s Development Research Center of the State Council embarked on a joint study to make urban China’s growth model efficient, inclusive and sustainable.

Urbanization was a key issue for Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim back in November, when they agreed to pursue the joint study. The World Bank and China’s Developmental Research Center of the State Council, or D-R-C, examined how China will cope with the massive population influx to its cities in the next 15 years.

But there are some misconceptions about the correlation between urbanization and growth.

While China’s urbanization model has avoided some of the problems commonly associated with it – like urban poverty, unemployment and squalor, barriers to migration are among the biggest issues for migrants. China’s reforms include a plan to close the divide between rural residents, urban residents and those who’ve recently migrated. Reforms are also planned for China’s hukou system which has imposed strict limits on permanent place of residence.

As China’s economic policies shift toward a more market-driven model, the D-R-C expects a positive impact on urbanization – gradually improving people’s quality of life:

It’s unclear how long it will take for the impact of these reforms to be felt but the hope is to create higher quality, sustainable growth and harmony for future generations of urban Chinese.