Author：Ma Huaili & Hu Yan
Press：Anhui People's Publishing House
In essence, the urbanization in China and other countries in the world is an inevitable result of industrialization and is presented as the process of the rural population transfer to cities and towns. However, the road to and pattern of urbanization varies due to the difference in national circumstances.
As far as China is concerned, there are great regional differences and farmers are widely distributed in the vast territory. Meanwhile, the country is characterized by limited resource endowments per capita and ushers in the industrialization late. Against the background, China is differentiated from other countries with respect to the road to and pattern of urbanization. It demonstrates special characteristics, which call attention to not only the rural population transfer to urban areas, but also the vast rural residents living in rural areas. In this respect, the Chinese urbanization is deemed as the process of building modern cities characterized by economic development, reasonable structure, complete functions, happy life, cultural prosperity and social harmony, and assimilating towns and villages with the excellent way of production, lifestyle, and social management methods of modem cities. It is destined for an urban-rural integrated environment with harmonious progress in production, living, culture, ecology and society, in which all people can live a relaxing, harmonious and happy life. It not only reflects the process, but also the result.
It is manifested in four aspects：(1) moderate urban expansion, reasonable urban industrial, commercial, and environmental structure, social harmony, and healthy and safe lifestyle;(2)urbanization of rural population and rural settlements, which means that rural migrants become urban residents and rural inhabitants live an urban life; (3) industrialization of agricultural production. Agriculture applies modern industrial technologies and management concepts and is closely and efficiently incorporated into the modem system of market division. Farmers are as skilled and capable as modem industrial workers and can gain the income for a well-off life;(4)formation of a reasonable and sustainable network system of residential settlements in cities, towns and rural areas, with convenient access to transportation and information, and the progressive evolvement of the urban-rural dual structure to the urban-rural integrated structure.In terms of people being involved, the urbanization covers urban population, migrant workers and rural residents. It is consistent with the concept of human-centered urbanization proposed by Premier Li Keqiang.
In this connotative sense, the Chinese urbanization is, under the conditions of simultaneous development of industrialization, informatization, urbanizatlon, and agricultural modernization, to ”foster strong influential urban clusters based on large cities, emphasize on small and medium cities, and drive ahead the coordinated development of cities and towns".1To this end, diversified patterns are needed.
Under this guidance, the book is divided into six Chapters. Chapter I”Urbanization： Impression and Reflection”provides an overall picture of the Chinese urbanization, covering the status quo, characteristics and trends. It implies and emphasizes the human-centered feature of urbanization in China. Chapter II”Historical Review：Course and Experience” describes the historical development of urbanization and summarizes the historical experience to better promote urbanization in China. Chapter III“Model Selection：Comparison and Reference”illustrates the local urbanization patterns selected depending on local characteristics and draws implications from the comparative analysis. Chapter IV ”Strategic Planning：Targets and Approaches” describes the special circumstances, overall objectives and strategic pathways in the Chinese context. Chapter V”Strategic Transformation：Opportunities and Challenges” points out the opportunities and challenges that may arise in the urbanization process based on the analysis of the national policy reform, transformation of economic development patterns, and pressure on natural resources, and comes up with proposals of the strategic transformation. Chapter VI”Steps Towards the Future：Belief and Expectation” introduces the expectations about the urbanization in China at different levels.covering the expectations from governments, experts ,media and the masses, and makes recommendations to achieve such expectations.
All the content unfolds around the theme that China should develop the urbanization with the Chinese characteristics and adhere to the human-centered concept in this process. It is believed that the underlying internal logic lies in the increasing level of the living standards, whether the urbanization is about the scale expansion or functional improvement, about the rural population transfer or the supply of urban welfare, about production safety or residence construction of rural residents. If so, all the objectives, including the transformation of economic development patterns, intensive and conservative resource utilization, harmony between human, nature and society agricultural development and interests of farmers, urban-rural integration, peace and prosperity...will be realized step by step. A more harmonious, prosperous, affluent and beautiful country will unfold in the international arena.
August 8th, 2013