Experts Call for More Input in Smaller Chinese Cities
urbanization summit / image: Baidu
Urban experts have underscored the role smaller cities would play in relieving the pressure larger cities are under due to rising population.
Large cities are pressed for space due to urbanization, thus, smaller cities should accommodate more residents, said Ye Xingqing, head of the agricultural economy department of the Development Research Center under the State Council, at a forum on China's urbanization Saturday.
The government should spend more on public services such as schools and hospitals in smaller cities to make them more attractive, said Zhang Liqun, an economist with the Development Research Center of the State Council.
new city / image: Baidu
On infrastructure, the government should provide equal basic public services in all cities to meet the demands of new residents, Zhang said.
At present, around 55 percent of the total population are permanent urban residents, higher than the global average of 52 percent, but lower than developed nations' average of 70 percent, Zhang said.
More people will live in cities in the future, leading to increased demand for property and other consumption needs, and thus urbanization will be a key engine for economic growth, Zhang said.
By 2020, China's ratio of permanent urban residents to total population should reach about 60 percent, while residents with urban "hukou" (permanent resident permits) should account for about 45 percent of total population, according to the urbanization plan released in March last year.