Cities urged to prepare better for migrant inflow
With rising urban population density, major challenges include a rising level of air polGovernments need to lution, equal access to educaincrease rural migrants’ access tional opportunities and highto social services and improve quality and comprehensive environmental conditions to healthcare for urban and rural cope with challenges amid the residents alike, according to nation’s urbanizationXu.process, a senior officialT with the he nation is aiming for an nation’s top economic planurbanization rate of 60 perning body said on Tuesday. cent by 2020.
Xu Lin, director-general The figure was 56.1 percent of the Department of Develat the end of last year, accordopmental Planning of the ing to the National Bureau of National Development and Statistics. Reform Commission, said Zhou Muzhi, a professor at many cities are not yet well Tokyo Keizai University, said prepared to cope with the that in order to cope with challenges brought by rural challenges, Chinese cities migrants. need to improve their per- formance in many aspects instead of focusing only on economic growth.
Zhou cited the example of Beijing, which outstripped its closest economic competitor Shanghai to rank at the top of 295 cities nationwide, according to the China Integrated City Index, which ranks cities according to economic and social development and environmental quality.
Despite relatively high economic performance, the city needs to make a lot more efforts to secure its ranking in areas such as the environment and social development, he said.
“Urban areas need to take actions before more population comes in,” he added. “The trend of more population inflows to developed regions, such as Beijing, is irreversible.”
Cities in China’s three major urban clusters — the Yangtze River Delta, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the Pearl River Delta — currently attract huge population inflows, according to Zhou.
Seventeen of the top 30 cities where migrants outnumber permanent residents are located in those three clusters, the index showed.
Co-compiled by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Cloud River Urban Research Institute, the China Integrated City Index, released earlier this month, is the first authoritative and comprehensive study of its kind.
Urban areas need to take actions before more population comes in.” Zhou Muzhi, a professor at Tokyo Keizai University