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Shanghai-Suzhou Corridor

Yangtze River Delta’s Shanghai-Suzhou Corridor is China’s most developed region with rapid economic growth and urban expansion. This research will examine the government-led rural land concentration policy, reveal the reality behind the generic concentration story and make policy suggestions.

Abstract

The fertile YRD is the richest region in China’s history, and the place undergoing wildest industrialization and urban growth today. For two decades, urban areas stayed on the priority of the city government’s development scheme, and the rural areas were no more than a land bank: As the central government is strictly controlling the amount of buildable land within each city’s administrative boundary to suppress urban sprawl, the city government started to reduce the construction land in rural areas, so to use those ‘saved’ quota to build in urban areas. Via settlement and farm land concentration projects, in many towns, thousands of farmers were moved to high-rising residential slabs, and hectares of farm lands were redistributed to external investors, leading to dramatic changes in YRD’s rural landscape. Such policy was also expected to increase the efficiency of agriculture production, but the real impacts varies significantly. For a better understanding of the region’s urban-rural transformation, this research will examine the history and evaluate the socio-economic impacts of several representative cases, reveals the major problems and proposes alternatives.