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July 1, 2022

Periurbanization and the Politics of Development-as-City-Building in China

Abramson, Daniel Benjamin. (2016). Periurbanization and the Politics of Development-as-City-Building in China. Cities, 53, 156 – 162.

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China stands out among recently urbanized societies for the planned physicality of its rural-urban transformation the extensive marshaling of labor, capital and material resources to remake its cities and to transform rural land and communities into new, formal urban space. In China, the rural and the urban are distinguished in deeply dichotomous institutions of government, and peri-urbanization, defined as the disorderly spaces, processes and conditions of becoming urban, would appear to be a temporary stage of transition between an old rural socio-spatial order to a new urban socio-spatial order. The actual contested politics of development as-urbanization suggests otherwise, however, both on a national scale and on a community scale. The definition of development itself is at stake, and emerges unpredictably from peri-urban experience. A view of periurbanization as a process of socio-ecological adaptation is better suited to societies that have evolved in long settled, densely populated anthropogenic agrarian landscapes. (C) 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Urban-growth; Chengdu; Urbanization; Adaptation; Resilience; Alternative Development; Socialist New Countryside Construction; New Rural Reconstruction