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Urbanization in China

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Urbanization (or urbanisation) is the increasing number of people that live in urban areas. Urbanization has been the result of economic growth for most countries. In fact, every developed nation in the world has gone through urbanization and this is no news to Chinese leaders. To turn the nation of China from being a developing nation to a developed nation, China encouraged the migration of citizens from the countryside to move to large cities and fuel the industrializing nation. Though urbanization has been a process many countries have gone through, China’s urbanization plans are very distinct compared to western examples. The main reason for China’s urbanization distinctions is its sheer magnitude and pace. In this paper, we will review this mass migration, the economic growth, China’s environmental concerns (specifically air pollution) due the urbanization and the focus on industrialization, and we will briefly see China’s newest seven year urbanization plan.
In 1950, only 13% of China’s population lived in cities (Seto, n.d.). Post 30 years, one hundred-million people moved to large cities from rural areas in China. This migration was considered the largest migration in human history. To compare this migration to western cities, the example of Shenzhen is used. For a Western city to have a population of three million to increase to ten million, it takes about a hundred years. 30-year old city, Shenzhen on the other hand made this population increase in just a decade (qtd. Caughey and Dawn). Today, over 53.7% of its population lives in cities; by 2020 it is projected that a whole 60% of the population will live in cities (Xinhuanet, 2014).
It seems every developed country is also urbanized and Chinese leaders know this. Chi...

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