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Chengdu Plain

Chengdu, as an official pilot area for urban-rural integration in China’s inner hinterland, have been actively working on concentration projects since 2003. Following the commends from a strong leader, it has dramatically changes the landscape in the plain.

Abstract

In China today, a policy of spatial concentration of rural settlements is widely favoured to manage urbanization and promote economic growth in the countryside. And yet, many of the projects developed under this policy have triggered radical and disruptive changes in the social structure and morphology of the countryside, without necessarily delivering the economic benefits originally envisioned. This thematic discussion is developed through detailed cases drawn from the metropolitan area of Chengdu, an official pilot area for urban-rural integration in China’s inner hinterland. The research uses first-hand interviews, empirical mapping and archival documents to discuss the current status of the state-led policy, the trends and potential for alternative approaches, in terms of short- and long-term socio-economic, community and environmental criteria.

An Anecdote

‘Now I need to walk about 40 min to my field…I am too old to learn how to drive a motorbike, so I have no choice but to walk.’

 

‘I did not want to use the new house, it is expensive to use the electricity and tap water there…Staying at my old place, I have much more space for my farming tools, and I can use the water from well, burn branches to cook, I am used to that…I know my fellow villagers are jealous and unhappy about my situation, their houses were already torn down, mine is the only one left.’