Despite a long political and cultural bias against urbanization, reforms from the beginning of the 80ies have created conditions that will early in the next decade transform China into a predominantly urban nation, with the largest number of urban residents in the world. It is therefore of fundamental importance that these new urban agglomerations are developed with responsible environmental and social sustainable planning strategies.
Five urban agglomerations in particular are emerging in China . One is located in the Pearl River Delta urban area (Guangzhou and Hong Kong), one other in the Yangtze River Delta (Shanghai); Shangdong Peninsular area with centers of Jinan and Qingdao; Jing-Jin-Ji urban cluster-of-cities with centers of Beijing and Tianjin; and Liaodong Peninsular area with centers of Shenyang and Dalian.
China is currently engaged in the greatest migration in the history of the world, far eclipsing movement patterns in the Western world in previous centuries. This migration is compounding. An estimated 150 million people have already migrated to cities in the last decade and in the following ten to twenty years a population of over 200 million will converge on Chinas cities, with obvious consequences and impact on the explosion of urban consumption, rapid change of urban infrastructures, housing and public services.
Cites in China are all engaged in a process of intense restructuring, setting a dynamic collision of past and future tendencies. Construction is everywhere, attracting migrant labor forces, flows of people arriving from rural areas to temporarily stay in the cities, a floating population, with a complex set of consequences for the urban environment.
The emergence of contemporary concepts of spaces of flows coincides with the present urgency to create infrastructures and new sustainable urban policies and planning strategies with focus on people and people movement. These strategies of sustainable urbanization are a global concern, with current and future focus on Chinas new urbanism.
National Museum of China - China Millennium Monument, Beijing, Chaina. For more information refer to: www.abbeijing.com