Shen Chi: Innovative development is the "golden key" for the healthy development of characteristic towns in China
Deputy Director of the China Center for Urban Development of the National Development and Reform Commission
——Innovative development is the "golden key" for the healthy development of characteristic towns in China
Similar or even identical positioning of characteristic towns across China needs to be viewed dialectically. Strictly speaking, it doesn't mean that all the characteristic towns should develop their own distinct industry. As the characteristic towns are different in industrial volume, scale and mode of production, some prefer mechanized assembly lines, and some are characterized by manual production. Characteristic towns with the same industry can also have their own unique features. Combined with the local natural and historical features, each characteristic town can display its unique charm.
Insufficient industrial linkage presents obstacles for characteristic towns to achieve sustainable development, which requires characteristic towns to develop unique industries that can focus both on terminal products, such as socks, and products that link upstream and downstream industries. The film industry, for example, had strong industrial linkage capacity but became unsustainable as new digital camera technologies emerged. "A characteristic town may exist for a long time but its industries have to change". Apart from industries, good ecological, institutional and human environments are also important for a characteristic town to stay prosperous.
Continuous innovation and development is the "golden key" for the healthy development of characteristic towns in the future. The development of characteristic towns will be closely related to the progress of urbanization, which is highly dependent on economic development. China has entered into a new era of innovative development, in which towns with distinctive industrial characteristics, a beautiful ecological environment, and livable conditions will become fertile ground for the development of innovation and entrepreneurship.