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Li Tie: Characteristic towns present a new choice for urban development in China

Updated:April 26,2020 L M S

Li Tie

President and Chief Economist of the China Center for Urban Development of the National Development and Reform Commission 

——Characteristic towns present a new choice for urban development in China


Developing characteristics towns presents China with a new choice for urban growth. Due to the rapid development of large cities, urban diseases such as traffic congestion, high housing prices, smog and insufficient infrastructure occur and cause serious problems for efficient urban management. Demographic problems have followed as well, leading to unhappy urban residents. City management officials are today wondering whether they should continue to develop large cities and megacities. Currently, China has six cities with a population of more than 10 million and over 20 cities with a population of more than five million. These cities are big indeed but they have serious social problems.

The proposal of characteristic towns results from China's 30 years of urbanization and it may offer a way out to better promote the development of the real economy through reasonable urban agglomerations, distribution of large, medium and small cities, and development of small towns. It is significant in that it blazes a trail of new urbanization that promotes real economic development with lower entrepreneurial costs.