The basic model of new urbanization is, with the Scientific Outlook on Development as the guiding principle, to insist on comprehensive, coordinated, and sustainable development in building urban China. Urbanization of the population is the key content. Information, agricultural industrialization and new industrialization are the driving forces. Productivity-induced economic growth is the development method. Government guidance and the market are guarantee mechanisms. The article lays out eight specific ways of integrating an integrated rural and urban China. According to the functional principle of being perfect to make up for market failures, the government may implement four basic countermeasures to advance new urbanization actively and steadily: drawing up strategy and planning, providing infrastructure and public service, improving institutions and policy, and strengthening supervision and management.
Formulate strategy and plans and lead the sustainable development of new urbanization
The development goal is integrating urban and rural areas to form an urban China
The government should formulate an urban and rural development plan in 2030 and in 2050. Under the guidance of the Scientific Outlook on Development, top-level design should be made on the development goals and steps of Chinese urbanization and given full consideration.
The pace of urbanization should be kept in a reasonable range based on the ultimate loading condition of economic social development and the resource environment. In view of the global competition pattern and the future situation of industry transferring and upgrading, the annual growth of urbanization speed cannot and should not maintain the 1% annual growth of the past. Future Chinese urbanization should combine connotation urbanization and extension urbanization and focus on quality. It is necessary to solve the problem of the partial urbanization of 160 million people and to continue to fight to resolve the urbanization of 360 million new people.
The total scale and level of the urban population
The total population from 2030 to 2050 is estimated to stay at around 1.4 billion. The population space distribution will be 25% living in rural areas, 25% in small towns, 25% in medium cities, and 25% in metropolises (Jian and Huang 2010). The urbanization level will be 75% on average (80% in the east, 70% in central regions, and 60% in the west). The total urban population will reach 860 million in 2030 and 1.06 billion in 2050.
Construction land and level of urbanization
The construction land for urbanization is 65% of non-farming construction land. Total non-farming construction land is 160,000 km2; non-farming construction land in urban areas is 100,000 km2, with large cities at 15%, medium and small cities at 20%, small towns at 30%, and rural areas at 35%. The standard of population density is 10,000/km2.
Urban scale system
Cities are concentration points for national resources and fountainheads of economic development, as well as centers for national innovation and enrichment. The number of cities is around 1,000 and small towns 20,000 in 2030 and 2050. The urban space layout, which includes super cities, large cities, middle cities, small cities, small towns, and resident settlements, is rational and coordinated. First, the advanced techniques and methods of transportation and communication are used to develop a number of large and super large cities by rational planning. Both expanding large city scale and raising city quality are important to be growth poles and power sources. Second, a number of small cities, which are regional centers, are extended to medium cities to enhance driving power. The central government should support the development of medium cities. Third, the functions and management level of small cities should be improved. Fourth, small towns have special functions to connect urban areas with rural area. It is urgent to adjust the distribution of small towns.
Urban function system
In the view of urban functions, urban functions will tend toward multiple levels. Chinese cities will bean open system in the future: one global top city, 3 to 5 global cities, about 15 international cities, 30 to 50 national cities, and about 1,000 regional cities. Hong Kong, Shanghai, etc., will have concentrated high-end service industries and high-tech manufacturing. Research and design centers of industrial process and brand marketing will be developed dramatically to form a top city and a center of global economic control and management. Some cities being international cities will play professional functions to provide international services. Others being national cities or regional cities will play a comprehensive function to provide services and management for national or regional areas.
Urban space layout
In the future, a lot of Chinese cities and towns will be distributed regularly to form urban clusters or urban ribbons, showing three structures: spot, line, and centralized area. The layout of the three structures will be connected with a modern transportation network. Cities will be the heart and vast rural areas the body.
First, in the national space layout: in eastern China, the construction of centralized areas is principle and combination of spots and lines is secondary. There are superior locations, a suitable environment, and dense population. It is easy to develop first, with transfer and upgrading, facing the world and participating in competition. In central and northeast China, the construction of lines is principle and combination of spots and centralized areas is secondary. The area is resource-rich and population is dense. The development of incentive policies will attract talent and industry to transfer here. The rise of central China and the revitalization of the northeast will be carried out. It is important to enhance conservation of resources and environment protection. In west China, there is with much land and few people. The construction of spots will be principle and combination of lines and centralized areas will be secondary. The implementation of the western development policy is ongoing. It is important to enhance environmental protection and ecological restoration.
Second, in the regional space layout: it will be crucial to take advantage of the scale economy and the external economy to push forward the integration of urban and rural areas and avoid malignant competition. Urban clusters will be formed with rational industrial distribution, favorable cooperation, a closely connected economy, as well as inside gathering and outside expanding functions. The aid of border areas is necessary.
Third, in the urban and rural space layout: clusters and networks of cities and towns will be built to benefit the integration of urban and rural areas, favorable cooperation, mutual benefit, win-win, and external economy. Compact cities will be built to reduce the spread and expansion of construction land. By building new rural areas and canceling and merging settlements, the new face of rural areas will appear and land will be used centrally to ensure farmland.
Development pace: two steps to achieve the ideal goal of urbanization
First step. in 2020, the urbanization rate will be over 60% and the three-dimensional structure will change to a two-dimensional structure. The comparatively perfect urban/rural infrastructure will be basically constructed. In urban areas, basic equal public services will be provided to everyone and income will also be the same for everyone. In rural areas, infrastructure, public services, and income will be improved gradually.
Second step: in 2040, the urbanization rate will be over 75% and urban and rural two-dimensional structure will change to a one-dimensional structure. Perfect urban/rural infrastructure will have been built. Incomes and equal public services in rural areas will be the same as in urban areas.
Provide infrastructure and public services to support the healthy development of new urbanization
Infrastructure: gradually realize the integration urban and rural infrastructure and the national integration of infrastructure
Build a nationally integrated infrastructure network
According to the layout of national urban and rural areas and the distribution of cities, national transportation, communications, and information infrastructure network systems, which are fast, high efficient, convenient, and low cost, are constructed and improved by the help of advanced science and technology, so that resources, people, and information can move freely among regions, cities, and urban and rural areas.
Improve regional integration of the infrastructure network
Further accelerate the construction of urban physical infrastructure and intangible service networks so as to improve regional integration of infrastructure networks composed of highway, high-speed railways, channels, transportation pipelines, power transmission, networks, drainage pipe networks, and communication backbones, to decrease commuting distance among cities, and enable resource and information flow to realize the co-construction and co-sharing inside urban clusters and among large urban clusters.
Improve urban and rural integration of infrastructure networks. According to the plan for urban and rural integration, urban infrastructure networks will be extended to rural settlements and edge areas, and rural residents will have the same infrastructure network services as urban residents do.
Public services: gradually advance equal public services in both urban and rural areas and the nation
On the basis of children education, social insurance, housing, and pension, in that order, farmer labors will gradually receive public services equal to those of urban residents. The employment and job creation system will be improved to raise resident incomes. The urban healthcare system will be improved to expand the coverage of healthcare insurance. The support capacity of affordable housing will be increased and public housing supply is enhanced. Simultaneously, it will be necessary to realize the integration and equality of employment, social insurance, education, healthcare, and other public services among regions and urban/rural areas.
Positive and efficient fiscal and tax, finance, industry will be formulated to aid rural areas, non-urban clusters, and edge areas. Large investment will be focused on infrastructure and public services to avoid the Matthew effect and to reduce the degree of regional tilt.
Improve supervision and management and promote the smooth development of new urbanization
To realize efficient supervision and management for market entities, it will be necessary first to establish an administrative supervision and management system.
Build an administrative management framework suited to an urban China
Administrative level will be simplified and the city establishment model will be reformed. To adapt to administrative requirements, by learning from the experiences of advanced countries, the adjustment of administrative divisions and reduction of administrative level should be done quickly. There are 30 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities as well as 14 cities specifically designated in the national plan. In east or central China, some developed regions with dense populations may set up new municipalities based on regional politics, economy, culture, and history. It is also possible to reduce provincial scale and allow provinces to manage counties directly.
Build longitudinal intergovernmental relationship of property power and financial power
To define property power and financial power of central and local governments is crucial for making clear the public responsibility and the public authority and making clear the property power and the public expenditure responsibility of all level governments. Since property power is consistent with financial power, the local government is very conscientious in the performance of its duties to promote urban development smoothly. At the same time, departments of the central government invest directly in some cities in poor regions by national projects or by fiscal transfers. The development of project grants from the central government is necessary and may guarantee the development of poor regions.
To build up the transverse intergovernmental regional coordination mechanism
The regional coordination mechanism will be improved further by setting up regional organization of urban development particularly inside urban clusters. Innovation in the model of public management is created by co-building market and infrastructure, co-coordinating regional industrial planning, and co-constructing transportation networks and information networks.
Build up the integration of urban and rural management systems
First, the integration of urban and rural management systems led by cities is built to adapt to a complex economy, society, environment, and foreign connections. The urban management function is improved. Second, the idea of a public management is reformed to push forward the government management of humanization, efficiency, institutions, rewards and punishments, and competition, to raise public service efficiency and quality and to enhance urban competitiveness. Third, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have developed widely, and a lot can be done by the NGO. Fourth, to enhance urban community construction, the city encourages organizational innovation and management innovation of community management to perform urban community function of politics, self-management, study, and service, to raise the level of self-education, and to encourage public participation. Residents can participate in managing the community and express their interest demands. Fifth, to enhance the urban emergency mechanism, cities should set up and improve urban emergency mechanisms, enhance crisis response capacity by institutionalized prevention and management system, and maximize the elimination of all kinds of unexpected events and hidden dangers or reduce the harm to a minimum.
Improve performance evaluations and accountability
Urban governments should establish a scientific performance appraisal system, formulate a performance evaluation index system, which is guided by the principle of the Scientific Outlook on Development, to show comprehensive, coordinated, and sustainable development. The evaluation index system should exhibit the standard of new urbanization, which includes urban economic development, social development, cultural prosperity, environmental protection, and so on. Evaluation results will reflect government performance and act as the key indicator in the job changes of main urban leaders.
Redefine the standards of city establishment and related functions
First, revise the Urban–rural Planning Law. Re-clarify the scale and rank of cities on the basis of China's larger population. The standards of city establishment and scale by population size are super large cities, super cities, large cities, medium cities, small cities, and small towns. According to the urban scale, urban functions are decided. It is possible to merge and reduce some cities in western China to reduce management costs. In eastern China, some towns will be changed to cities to improve their functions. Second, formulate and revise relevant laws. By formulating a system of constraining, quantitative, clearly regulate urban resource utilization, environment protection, and the standards of infrastructure and public service based on urban scale.
Reform of institutions and policy to ensure the healthy development of new urbanization
Establish sustainable institutions and policy to guarantee urbanization
Deepen reform of the fiscal and taxation system
The central government should establish a longitudinal intergovernmental relationship of property power and financial power, carry out firstly compulsory education funds of national coordination and gradually implement national coordination of social insurance completely or in part. The central government should build up the central and local government fiscal transfer system to support farmers changing to urban residents. It is necessary to set up a cost-sharing system among governments, businesses, and individuals to help migrant workers change to urban residents and further to form a local fiscal and taxation system.
Deepen reform of the land system
Establish an integrated urban–rural land system. Rural land ownership belongs to the nation, and farmers have land-use rights. By giving farmers transaction-use rights, there are improved rural land property rights to activate farmers' land assets by promoting land assets stock, farmer shareholders of land stock, and farmer democratic rights. The physical market of rural land property right transfer is justice, openness, and fairness. Land mortgage or sale is possible and land property rights protection system is established. Generally, land use, transaction, and income apportionment system are urban and rural integration, with the same right, same price, and free competition.
Deepen reform of the household registration system
Some migrants should become citizens based on conditions of employment, investment, and residency and for migrants who have not yet become registered urban residents, to establish a residential permit system for shared right and responsibilities.
Deepen reform of the employment system
Further liberalize the labor market and open all industries to laborers. At the same time, cancel all local policies and regulations that limit rural laborers from moving to cities to ensure that rural labors have an equal right to employment. Cancel the discriminating employment system of the urban labor market to build up a unified employment training system.
Improve the social insurance system
First, improve the system to reform social insurance system positively, integrate the urban and rural social insurance systems to change the division of urban and rural areas. Second, the width and breadth of social insurance system should be extended further, including national endowment insurance, unemployment insurance, healthcare insurance, injury insurance, and maternity insurance. Third, form a new social assistance system, in which minimum living security is fundamental, special assistance is supportive, and charity aid is supplemental. Fourth, local social insurance systems should have their own character.
Deepen reform of the financing system
Under the guidance of the government fiscal, deepen the reform of the system by actively and innovatively develop direct financing tools mainly in the form of mid- and long-term credit support. Improve the finance system by enhancing institutions and market construction. Diversified financing models include infrastructure securities, infrastructure investment funds, municipal bonds, and private finance.
Establish a long-term mechanism to ensure to the continual development of urbanization
Price adjustment mechanism
First, by advanced techniques and methods, make sure infrastructure and public services have excludability as much as possible. User-pay service employs gradient-type markup pricing, and use more and pay more, to reduce the burden on the poor population. Second, the market will determine the price of transfer of management right of rural land, the price of collective land transfer into state-owned land in designed construction areas and the price of urban removing and resettlement houses. The role of price adjustment in land use will be fully employed to realize land benefits allocated fairly and reasonably among farmers, urban residents, the government, and businesses in order to promote social harmony and improve land use efficiency.
Ecology compensation system
The price leverage effect is crucial in resource conservation and environment protection. It must clarify property rights and make users and polluters pay and ensure internalization of the external cost of economic production and daily life.
Land occupation mechanism
Establish an index number of non-agricultural land area occupied per capita in different areas on the basis of the current population and land distribution. At the same time, make vouchers for population and land-use indicators. Each city has the right to decide on accepting a number of farmer laborers and a land-use index number in the light of its capacity. Cities where farmer laborers will move must provide houses, healthcare, and social insurance for farmer laborers and pay land-use index money. Rural areas, in line with population movement, will obtain land-use index money and part of the money will be used to transfer housing land into farmland.
Urban infrastructure construction needs large investment and the return cycle is long. There is a mismatch in the supply and demand of fund maturities. Therefore, develop long-term finance tools, such as long-term credit, fund investment, long-term funds, and asset securitization to match supply-and-demand cash flows for infrastructure construction.
Fiscal subsidy mechanism
Central and local financial administrations should set up transfer payment subsidies for migrant laborers changing to urban residents in light of migrant worker residence size. Fiscal subsidies are mainly used to increase social insurance guarantees for migrant workers and their families, including medical facilities, compulsory education, and occupation education facilities, low-rent housing, and expansion of municipal facilities.
Reform and improve the taxation system quickly. It is urgent to levy real estate taxes, land taxes, resource taxes, and environment taxes. The problem of 'land finance’ must be resolved and the tax leverage effect will be fully employed in resource conservation and environment protection.