China's urbanisation push needs land reform, freer residency rights in cities

Without title to rural land or urban residency, China's new city dwellers are unlikely to feel secure enough to spend as much on consumption as its leaders would like. Photo: Reuters

Tan Yingyu is one of China’s 200 million migrant workers, and like many he is stuck: he does not want to return to his village but also cannot become a legal resident in the city of Chengdu, where he has worked for nearly 20 years.

Monday, 11 November, 2013, 11:18am

Debts weigh down new vision for urban push

While traffic and air pollution are the daily reminders of city life, planners are taking a deeper look into sustainable financing models for urbanisation. Photo: AP

"Better city, better life" - the slogan used by the Shanghai-hosted World Expo 2010 sparked great controversy on the mainland at the time. Critics said life was far from better in the city after a massive wave of urbanisation had worsened pollution, caused rising bad debts, and lowered the quality of life.

6 Jun 2013 - 4:15am

Without land reform, China cannot meet its policy goal of urbanisation

Photo: Reuters

The deaths of three farmers in Henan , Hubei and Sichuan - killed separately while protesting against the requisition of their land - have made the central government sit up. On May 13, the Ministry of Land and Resources warned officials to enforce the rule against illegal land grabs.

30 May 2013 - 2:56am 3 comments

China urbanisation plan hits roadblock over spending fears

A rubbish collector walks through a building due to be torn down to make room for a new residential area in Wuhan, Hubei province. Photo: Reuters

Premier Li Keqiang has rejected an urbanisation proposal drafted by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

23 May 2013 - 5:50pm 3 comments

Urbanisation may be one of China's greatest challenges

A yard outside migrant workers' makeshift houses is seen next to a city residential compound in central Beijing. Photo: Reuters

In recent months, Premier Li Keqiang has targeted urbanisation as a priority for the economy. Indeed, urbanisation will boost economic growth and create a better living environment for all. In terms of both geographic scope and size of the population, the process in China will break records. What could the consequences be on residential property markets at city levels?

22 May 2013 - 2:53am

How to fund China's urbanisation

How to fund China's urbanisation

After extensive consultation, co-ordinated by the National Development and Reform Commission, the long-term plan for China's urbanisation is being finalised. Behind all the complex issues is one fundamental question: how will it be paid for?

13 May 2013 - 1:52am 6 comments

Farm sector faces pressure from rising affluence, urbanisation, Boao Forum panel hears

Han Changfu. Photo: Xinhua

Even though grain production has grown for the past nine years, China must continue to boost investment in agriculture because demand for food is set to soar thanks to an increasingly affluent population and rapid urbanisation, government officials and industry players have cautioned.

9 Apr 2013 - 5:05am

China's urbanisation drive lacks planning, Boao Forum panellists warn

China's urbanisation drive lacks planning, Boao Forum panellists warn

Governments must plan carefully and make a bigger effort to improve the welfare system amid the mainland's unprecedented urbanisation drive, panellists at the Boao Forum for Asia warned.

8 Apr 2013 - 5:49am

Managing China's urban spread

Managing China's urban spread

Increasing the size of metropolitan areas anchored by large cities may be the most effective way to develop midsize and small cities in China, as it has been elsewhere.

21 Mar 2013 - 2:51am

Li Keqiang warns of urbanisation risks in first speech as premier

Urbanisation could case new poverty, said Li. Photo: Reuters

Premier Li Keqiang has warned of the hidden risks of an "unprecedented" urbanisation push in the world's most populous nation, saying the relocation of millions of rural residents to cities would take a long time.

18 Mar 2013 - 5:28am

Spirit of adventure can guide hukou reform

Urbanisation featured prominently in Wen Jiabao's government work report. Photo: AP

In Wen Jiabao's government work report, the theme of urbanisation again featured prominently. China has achieved an urbanisation rate of above 51 per cent. However, as at least 16 per cent (more than 200 million people) of the total population, such as migrant workers, are not registered in their city of abode, they lack full access to key public services including health care and education.

9 Mar 2013 - 2:31am

Migrant workers feel like outsiders in mainland cities, says survey

Despite spending years working in mainland cities, migrant workers still feel like outsiders. Photo: Xinhua

Despite spending years working in mainland cities, migrant workers still feel like outsiders and say their only sense of happiness comes from their families, a Renmin University survey has found.

3 Mar 2013 - 5:35am

Lunacy of Lunar New Year travel must spur hukou reform

According to initial estimates, some 3.4 billion passenger trips were made during the Lunar New Year, an increase of 8.6 per cent from last year. Photo: Xinhua

The Lunar New Year travel crunch this year was worse than ever. It's deeply worrying because it underlines the distortions in China's urbanisation.

21 Feb 2013 - 5:46am

Beijing and other key cities plan for 10-fold expansion of metro railways

Passengers in a train on Beijing's subway line 6. Photo: Xinhua

By 2050, mainland cities will have 11,700 kilometres of metro railway, accounting for at least half the world's metro railway, said a bond prospectus of China CNR Corporation, a leading rolling stock manufacturer. This is nearly 10 times the 1,688 kilometres of operating metro railway in 14 cities at the end of 2011.

12 Feb 2013 - 5:39am

Storm brewing in Asia's mega-cities

Local residents ride on a bamboo raft in a flooded street in northern Jakarta. Photo: AP

The floods in Jakarta were typical of what Asia's mega-cities have experienced or face. Like the region's other big urban centres, the city of 10 million people is in a low-lying, coastal, area. Poor strategic planning, little investment in infrastructure and corruption and a lack of political will have created significant vulnerabilities to climate change. Inadequate availability of water and sewage systems, severe traffic snarls and slums are everyday realities. When the high temperatures, heavy downpours and sea surges come, chaos, lost productivity, devastation and tragedy are inevitable.

28 Jan 2013 - 3:04am