China's new urbanization plan: Progress and structural constraints

Yin-wah Chu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents a critical evaluation of China's New Urbanization Plan (NUP), a preliminary assessment of its implementation, and some policy recommendations. This study evaluates the NUP within the context of China's urbanization and its theoretical debates, arguing that the NUP harbors a hidden agenda of facilitating a transition in the regime of accumulation. The priority given to economic development imposes structural constraints on the attainment of human-centered urbanization. Furthermore, the NUP's goal to enhance interregional equality and national security is reminiscent of strategies adopted in the socialist era, although this time around these objectives are pursued by enhancing global connectivity rather than through autarky. Finally, this study provides an empirical assessment of the NUP's implementation by calculating data for six city clusters between 2013 and 2016, analyzing them according to regions and city sizes, and focusing on indicators identified from the Plan. It finds that although the pace of converting rural migrants meets the NUP target, the provision of urban social benefits remains frugal. The relocation of secondary industries to inland regions has not been accompanied by a commensurate shift of population growth. The NUP's implementation has also been accompanied by a sharp increase in land-sale revenue in 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102736
Number of pages10
Early online date20 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

User-Defined Keywords

  • City cluster
  • Globalization
  • hukou
  • Land finance
  • New urbanization plan
  • State


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