Urban-rural integrative development in urbanizing China


Tai’an City is located at the southern foot of Mount Tai in Shandong province. The lofty cultural and tourism status of Mount Tai has made Tai’an City a famous tourist attraction in China. At the same time, it is also a traditional agricultural area and an area with the highest ecological value within Shandong province, which undertakes the important task of ensuring national food security and regional ecological security.

In recent decades, fast development of urbanization and industrialization has provoked the tension between the economic aim and the conservation of cultivated and ecological land. This report is one of the basic monographic studies to support the formulation of “National Spatial Planning of Tai’an City”, aimed at analyzing major issues in urbanization process, proposing orientation, targeting and regulating strategies to promote the coordinated development of urban and rural areas.

Based on data such as the statistical yearbook, the census, land use surveys, village surveys and methods such as descriptive statistics and prediction models, this report analyzed the historical trajectories and current features of urbanization, identified major problems in the urbanization development, constructed urban-rural settlement system, and proposed urban-rural integrative development strategies.

Three main problems that Tai'an City faces in its urban-rural development are identified.

First, the development of urbanization is mostly driven by traditional manufacturing industry, and the driving capabilities of tourism and service industries are weak. Second, urbanization quality was assessed by using urbanization quality index. The urbanization quality of Tai'an City is low compared with other cities in Shandong province. Third, the city exhibits the spatial dispersion pattern of urbanization, which means the population attraction of central cities in each county and district is low.

In order to achieve the urban-rural integrative development, the following suggestions are proposed;

  1. encourage rural residents to move to nearby urbanized towns/cities and to move with whole family in order to avoid family separation.
  2. simultaneously enhance the efficiency and quality of agriculture and manufacturing to better drive the development of both urban and rural areas.
  3. promote agricultural modernization and comprehensive tourism to revitalize rural area.
  4. form 11 rural-urban integrated zones based on urban and rural settlement system to improve the accessibility of public service facilities.
Tao Liu
Migration and Cities