Urbanization should not be artificial

Updated: 2013-08-26 20:18


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Urbanization of towns should be a natural process, said an article in the 21st Century Business Herald (excerpts below).

The central government recently required each county to have a "key town", a town with a strong economy and good public services.

In 2004, there were 1,887 key towns meeting the central government's standards, most of which were located in developed regions.

Urbanization proposes new requirements for the construction of towns, which can help solve many of the problems of big cities.

As in the development of a city, the development of a town is by no means an artificial process. There are more than 17,000 towns in China, only 56 of which have a population larger than 100,000. Most of them are in the industrial belts of the Pearl River and the Yangtze River deltas. These towns are close to big cities like Suzhou, Shanghai, Dongguan, Shenzhen and Guangzhou and have solid industrial foundations.

The government should make its requirement more flexible and give more consideration to the differences among different regions. It is impractical for, say, a poor county in west China to build a key town just to meet the requirement.

It is easy to build a town. But it takes a long time to build its industrial bases, which are crucial to attract expertise and generate wealth.

Another important aspect of a town is its public services in medical care, education and traffic, etc. This requires proper financing and resolute planning.