Small town & village redevelopment and vitalization in China
With fast urbanization in China (more than 60%), cities and towns are developing rapidly. Huge rural migration (to cities) is still going on. Old people and children are left in rural areas while young people leaving for the cities for a better future. Problems in these areas are significant:
- Agriculture is less developed because of lack of manpower as well as lack of new technology & innovation. The agriculture products are very limited -only enough for the villagers.
- Small towns & villages shrink. More people will leave and areas are left behind.
- Country doesn’t have enough agriculture supply and has to rely on import.
Recently the China National Bureau of Rural Development has been established. China national government has launched a movement for stimulating characteristic small town development and rural areas vitalization. It calls especially for civil servants going back to their hometown (rural areas) to investigate, to plan and to consul, more importantly, to work together with local people to accelerate the development of the rural areas.
It is a holistic approach to call for all disciplines to take part in process, especially from economic & ecological development point of view. This is different from the characteristic small-town development several years ago, which was done mainly by the urban planners and architects, emphasizing on physical & spatial planning of these areas. Tourism was the main economic activity for rural villages, which didn’t lead to success (or last long). Now China has started an integrated approach to tackle the problems, expecting to achieve better results.
East West Urban Consultancy initializes with a few organizations from China conducting a research comparing NL/EU/CN experiences and best practices on rural development.