Mega-Urbanization in China: Rural-Urban Synthesis as a Foundation for Sustainability

By Andrew Marton and Terry McGee.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the first part of the twenty-first. century China still faces ongoing challenges of maintaining economic growth while simultaneously creating a more equitable, just, and sustainable society. This issue is set within the context of the rapid growth of mega-urban regions in the East Asian region. Central to this challenge is addressing the deep and growing economic disparities between rural and urban areas and creating a more balanced relationship, particularly in agriculture and food supply which are effected by the spatial spread of urbanization. The key challenges of increasing productivity of food production and the effectiveness of the food supply system pivot on the rapidly urbanizing mega-urban regions of China illustrated by the case study of the lower Yangzi delta mega-urban region. These changes are occurring because of increased urban and international demand for diversified food and industrial crops, loss of good agricultural land, changes in food distribution in response to increased urban and export demand, increased competition for resources such as land and labor, and environmental problems caused by global climate change and pollution. While these outcomes are viewed by some as the inevitable consequences of the twin forces of China’s national economic growth and globalization, we invoke the concepts of synergetic and eco-capital to argue for the development of policies promoting rural-urban synthesis that present a more comprehensive response to the simultaneous challenges of economic growth and environmental and social sustainability.

Keywords: Urbanization, Sustainability, China, Food Supply for Urban Areas

The Global Studies Journal, Volume 10, Issue 2, June 2017, pp.1-19. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 11.444MB).

Prof. Andrew Marton

Professor, Director, Department of Pacific and Asian Studies, Centre for Asia Pacific Initiatives, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Prof. Terry McGee

Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography, Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


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