Urbanization and sustainable metropolitan development in China: Patterns, problems and prospects

Roger C.K. Chan, Yao Shimou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The path of urbanization in the People's Republic of China is largely shaped by the nation's industrial development strategies. In the first three decades of socialist construction, and especially after the Sino-Soviet rift at the end of the 1950s, the adoption of strategies of self-reliance had led to urban biased patterns of development. The introduction of economic reforms and the open door policy in 1978 paved the way for and facilitated national economic development. Two issues, which feature significantly in the processes of development in China, are assessed. The first is the relationship between economic development and the protection of arable land. The second is the quest for a coordinated hyper-development in both urban and rural areas. This paper concludes by proposing a sustainable metropolitan development strategy that suits the case of China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-277
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • China
  • Environment
  • Sustainable development
  • Urbanization


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