Important progress in and prospects of China’s urbanization and urban agglomeration in the past 40 years of reform and opening-up

FANG Chuanglin1,2

(1.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China 100101)
(2.College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China 100049)

【Abstract】The 40 years of reform and opening-up are the time when China have created a world miracle in urbanization and made remarkable achievements in the urban agglomeration construction. Over the past 40 years, China’s urbanization level has increased by 1.5 times, 3.7 percentage points higher than the world average. It has successfully completed the rapid growth of the early and middle stages and is about to enter the later mature stage. In the practice of multiple adjustments and reform and innovation, China has developed a new-type urbanization development path with Chinese characteristics. China has held its first central work conference on urbanization, and made major historic adjustments about the city scale division standard. It has resisted the impact of pseudo-urbanization and improved the quality of urbanization by eliminating the fake while preserving the real. In the past 40 years, research and development of China’s urban agglomeration has successfully completed the historic leap from fierce theoretical disputes to practical applications, and China has entered the 21st century when it leads the development of global urban agglomeration. The urban agglomeration has been listed as the spatial subject of the new-type urbanization for 15 years on run in China, and its national and international strategic position ascends rapidly. The urban agglomeration has made huge irreplaceable contributions to China’s national urbanization and economic development. Looking ahead and relying on the brilliant achievements made in the past 40 years of reform and opening-up, China, in developing urbanization and urban agglomeration, should continue to unswervingly implement the strategy of the new-type urbanization, and make urbanization of high quality, high efficiency and high level. China should continue to take the urban agglomeration as the spatial subject of its new-type urbanization and make the urban agglomeration develop towards the high integration, green, intelligent and international trend. China should continue to implement the strategy of rural revitalization. For high urban-rural integration, China should convene the central urban-rural work conference and formulate Planning for Integrated Urban and Rural Development. China should implement the strategy of urban and rural integration development, synchronize, integrate and co-prosper new-type urbanization and rural revitalization, improve the quality of urban and rural development synchronously, and make both the city and the countryside the beautiful homeland that everybody yearns for.

【Keywords】 urbanization; urban agglomeration; important progress; development prospects; new-type urbanization; urban-rural integration and development; 40 years of reform and opening-up;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (41590840, 41590842) National Natural Science of China (71433008)

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(Translated by ZHONG Xiaoli)


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This Article



Vol 38, No. 09, Pages 1-9

September 2018


Article Outline



  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 The major achievements and progress China has made in developing city agglomerations over the past 40 years of reform and opening up
  • 3 Prospects of China’s urbanization and urban agglomerations
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