Brief introduction

Re-urbanization means that due to the increasing pressure of traffic congestion, crime growth, serious pollution and other urban problems, the urban population begins to flow to the suburbs and even the countryside, forming a green ecology there. environment. The urban area has become "hollowed" and the population has shown a negative growth. The urbanization characterized by population concentration has thus reversed. In the 21st century, with urbanization, the trend of "counter-urbanization" in some of our central cities has become more and more obvious. More and more urban residents are yearning to live and live in the suburbs. According to a recent survey in Beijing, among the people surveyed, 54.5% are interested in investing in the suburbs recently, and 70% are interested in buying a second home in the suburbs. In Shanghai, more and more young white-collar workers hope to live a "five plus two" life of working in office buildings in the city center from Monday to Friday, and relaxing in rural countryside on Saturdays and Sundays. Many people in the cities along the southeastern coast have caught sight of the uninhabited and unnamed islands, thinking about how to invest there and start their own business again.

"Counter-urbanization" is relative to "urbanization".

"Urbanization" is the gathering of political, economic, cultural, social, residential and consumer functions of a certain area in the city. In the process of these gatherings, a prominent phenomenon is the transfer of rural population to cities. The inevitable result of "big urbanization" is a more and more powerful agglomeration effect, and it also brings about various "urban diseases" that are approaching the limits of agglomeration space and are unsustainable. When the development of a city reaches a certain limit, it is necessary to adjust and optimize the functional structure and spatial structure of the city. As a result, various functions of the central city, such as the political center, economic center, cultural center, residence, leisure and entertainment, etc. Conditions of the decomposition of small and medium-sized towns and villages. These functional decompositions are "counter-urbanization".

Counter-urbanization refers to the increasing pressure from urban problems such as traffic congestion, crime growth, and serious pollution. Urbanization, which is the main feature of concentration, has thus been reversed.

Origin and development

Historical origin

More than 100 years ago, Howard, a fringe in urban planning in the UK, tried his best to create an ideal "pastoral city" for mankind. That is, without affecting the interests of vested interest groups in British society, create a living environment that combines the advantages of the rural and urban areas. This can be regarded as the origin of the idea of ​​counter-urbanization. Counter-urbanization is very common in Western developed countries. After World War II, especially after the 1950s, the United States accelerated the process of urban suburbanization. The population growth rate in the suburbs within the metropolis is much faster than the population growth rate in the central city. This is the main trend in recent urban development in the United States.

The true meaning of "counter-urbanization" occurred in developed countries after 1970. The urbanization of developed countries has experienced rapid development and entered the third stage of the urbanization process. Its main feature is that the population of large cities has stopped growing or even decreasing, and the flow of population and other resources has begun to shift to small and medium-sized cities, especially the suburbs around large cities. town. This phenomenon first appeared in the United States in the 1970s and was named de-urbanization, and then appeared in developed countries in Europe. It needs to be emphasized that counter-urbanization does not mean a decline in the level of national urbanization, it only leads to the redistribution of new areas of urban development, it is factors such as changes in people’s preference for the living environment, highly developed transportation and communications, and changes in the geographical pattern of production. The result of the combined effect. In fact, counter-urbanization is pushing urbanization to spread more widely.

Development stage

Counter-urbanization itself has a certain regularity, and generally has to go through the following four stages:

The budding stage-the first to move into the suburbs They are all wealthy;

The formation stage—a large number of middle class began to move into the new suburban development zone to live, but they still have to go to the city center for work, shopping and entertainment every day;

Development Stage-residential suburbanization and industrial suburbanization;

Mature stage-the degree of self-reliance in the suburbs is getting higher and higher, from a single residential function to an employment center with various urban functions. The suburban population is a part of the population of the metropolitan area. The emergence of suburbanization has led to the formation of the spatial structure of polycentric cities and the rise of mega-urban belts.

Making significance

"Counter-urbanization" is a new trend derived from the development of "urbanization" to a certain stage. The higher the level of urbanization, the stronger the trend of "counter-urbanization". "Counter-urbanization" is to "urbanization", but it is a huge development energy for villages and towns. Wherever the trend of "counter-urbanization" is heading, the development of towns and villages will be faster. Using the trend of "counter-urbanization" to develop small towns and villages, small towns and villages developed on this basis become a broad platform for central cities to self-optimize and reduce spatial pressure, and make the spatial structure of central cities more reasonable and their industrial advantages more prominent , The aggregation effect and the driving effect are more powerful. As a result, the central city, small and medium-sized towns, and villages have formed a spatial layout with industries corresponding to each other, complementary advantages, and a virtuous circle, forming a direct proportional relationship between urbanization and "counter-urbanization" with strong convection (two-way convection).

To promote the development of villages and towns, there are two types of forces commonly used: one is to rely on the strength of the countryside and small towns themselves, that is, to rely on the natural growth of the regional economy and the transfer of rural population under the jurisdiction of the small towns. The first category is to rely on government support, that is, "cities support the countryside, and industry feeds back agriculture." There is another force in the development of villages and towns, and that is the force of "counter-urbanization".

First of all, using the power of "counter-urbanization" can solve the "urban disease" and promote the development and prosperity of both urban and rural areas. Secondly, the development of transportation and telecommunications are the basic material conditions for the smooth flow of "counter-urbanization". Furthermore, the use of the power of "counter-urbanization" to develop villages and towns, that is, the planning, construction, and development of small towns should focus on "connecting" with central cities. At the same time, improving the ability of small towns to attract consumption and consumption power is to attract the flow of people, logistics and industries in central cities, and lay a solid and profound foundation for the vigorous development of secondary and tertiary industries. In addition, focusing on creating conditions for attracting and staying in "counter-urbanization" is to strengthen unique natural advantages, historical advantages, and create new advantages. It can be seen that the development of villages and towns with the help of "counter-urbanization" is a shortcut and the best choice to promote the development of villages and towns by leaps and bounds, and it is also the best choice to promote urbanization.


Main differences

Suburban urbanization and counter-urbanization are different processes in the process of urbanization. Generally, the stages of urbanization are divided into: initial stage, suburban urbanization stage, counter-urbanization stage, and re-urbanization stage.

Generally speaking, suburban urbanization is a product formed at the beginning of the urbanization process. Due to the rapid expansion of people, the scale of the city has expanded, and the suburbs of the city have also become part of the urban landscape. This is generally called a suburban city.

The counter-urbanization is due to the improvement of the economic level. When the urbanization process is high, the population (higher income) tends to migrate to the suburbs. Note: The suburbs here are a certain distance from the city, and the suburbs in the suburban urbanization are bordering the city.

The key to the difference between the two lies in the different causes. The urbanization of the suburbs should be a process of natural expansion and benign development of a city, and a phenomenon that appears along with economic development. The de-urbanization should emphasize the deterioration of the city's internal environment.

Re-urbanization: Because of the increasing pressure of urban problems such as traffic congestion, increased crime, and serious pollution, the urban population has begun to flow to the suburbs and even rural areas, and the urban area has become "hollowed". Urbanization, which is the main feature of concentration, has thus been reversed. Suburbanized villages, towns, development zones, industrial and mining enterprises are integrated with the city, urban and rural areas, and almost the urban area and the suburbs are closely connected and independent of each other. From the perspective of western developed countries, the positive effects of urban suburbanization are very similar.

First, urban suburbanization has eased the over-concentration of population, housing tension and traffic congestion in the central area of ​​big cities to a certain extent, improved urban working conditions, and promoted further harmony between man and land;

Secondly, pay attention to the overall coordination of regional social and economic development, and promote the coordinated layout of urban industries and departments within the geographical space through the formulation and implementation of sound regional planning, which is conducive to giving full play to the city’s production, The overall function of circulation, life, consumption and other fields; third, it improves the environmental quality of the city. However, the construction of urban suburbanization is not in line with China’s national conditions. This urbanization road, which pursues the scale of continuous development to the surrounding areas, will inevitably produce a series of "urban diseases" if it is allowed to develop, which will eventually make the city flourish. The urbanization in the development stage encountered obstacles and stopped. This kind of "urban disease" has gradually been exposed in China.

Main performance

The difference between urban and suburban areas is reduced

First, the urban population moves to the suburbs, and the difference between the suburbs is reduced.

The development of industry has made the industrial layout excessively concentrated, leading to environmental degradation and rising land prices. The population in the central area of ​​the city began to move to the suburbs. They built new cities and satellite cities around the city, bringing the urban population, culture, and industries to the suburbs. This phenomenon is particularly serious in some large cities in the West. It is called "American suburbs". "Phenomena." The construction of supermarkets, high-end residences, and large parking lots has changed the simple appearance of the suburbs, and has made the production and consumption between the city and the suburbs more balanced.

In addition, the development of highways and subways has shortened the distance between the suburbs, making it possible for a large number of people to frequently travel between the city and the suburbs, forming a unique "pendulum type" Mobile trends. This is the beginning of counter-urbanization.

City scale shrinks

Secondly, the urban population decreases and the city scale shrinks.

In some developed countries, urban population decline is quite common. In the 20 years from 1950 to 1970, London, England, the urban population decreased by 100,000. In other countries such as France, Germany, the United States, Japan, etc., the urban population decreases to varying degrees every year, and the trend is increasing year by year.

The decrease in population has gradually reduced the scale of cities, large cities have tended to disappear, rural populations have increased, and the urban-rural population gap has narrowed. This is the result of the highly developed social productive forces and the inevitable result of the development of human civilization to a certain historical stage.

Due to the development of national politics, economy and culture, people are migrating in a direction that is more conducive to their own development. The clean environment in the countryside, superior employment conditions, and relaxed atmosphere... attract the urban population to flock to the countryside, resulting in a continuous decline in the proportion of urban population in the total population. This is a higher stage of counter-urbanization development.

There are problems

Urban problems

The main manifestations are: 1. The layout is scattered, and the overall urban planning is relatively backward. At the junction of urban and rural areas (at the intersection of urban and rural areas), planning and management have "forgotten corners" and "vacuums".

2. Excessive land occupation and prominent contradictions in land use. .

3. Infrastructure construction such as road transportation and public services is relatively inadequate and backward.

4. Urban historical and cultural heritage cannot be well protected.

5. Humanities problems in urban construction are serious. In the process of large-scale urban suburbanization, along with the outward migration of a large number of industrial parks and the construction of a large number of urban residential buildings, new roads or urban infrastructure must be built every year to meet the needs of urban expansion. Many farmers have lost their farmland and homes under government coercion or through market forces. The subsidy provided by the government may be in vain, and coupled with the possible layers of deductions, what really goes to the farmers is not enough for the farmers to move to another place. Many farmers fell into poverty, and some even became beggars wandering the streets of the city. All this is contrary to the original intention of the city's decision-makers. This kind of humanistic problems caused by urban sprawl is very serious in many large, medium and small cities, and it has become a pain in the heart of relevant urban management departments.


According to a survey conducted by the Zhejiang Provincial Household Registration Administration in August 2010, the number of "agricultural conversion" in the province has dropped from 577,000 in 2004 to 189,000 last year. The drop was 67%. The phenomenon of "counter-urbanization", which is unwilling to settle in cities and even relocate the registered permanent residence from the city to the countryside, has emerged in the eastern coastal areas of China. Coincidentally, "amphibious" civil servants appeared in Zhejiang. Not long ago, more than 200 civil servants in Yiwu moved their residence registrations to the countryside to compete for compensation and dividends. Some civil servants were "being farmers" and moved their residence registrations to the countryside. In sharp contrast, the reform of the household registration system in Chongqing has been fully launched, and the conversion of rural residents to non-residents has been fully launched. Since the opening of the household registration reform transfer window in the city on August 1, the majority of rural residents have been more active in participating in the household registration system reform.

Why do civil servants with "iron rice bowls" "strive to be farmers"? Why is the situation of "agricultural conversion" in my country's eastern and western regions so different? In an interview with a reporter from People's Daily Online, experts said that this difference is mainly due to the benefits contained in the land. "There is a big difference between the eastern and western regions of our country. In the eastern and coastal developed regions, under the premise that the land is becoming more and more valuable, sooner or later rural land will become a huge wealth. Many farmers are unwilling to go to cities and give up these lands. But in the process of urbanization, my country’s urban-rural development policies must be adapted to local conditions according to regional differences.” Sun Jiuwen, director of the Institute of Regional and Urban Economics at Renmin University of China, said the reason.

Wei Houkai, deputy director of the Urban Development and Environmental Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, holds the same view. The most important part of the reform is to let the population flow freely, but the overall trend is to flow to the cities. Urban household registration itself contains welfare benefits, and the corresponding is the collective land of the rural household registration. Through development and leasing, it will generate substantial economic benefits. Farmers The idea of ​​reluctance to enter cities is not difficult to understand. In fact, in recent years, some civil servants have owned land in rural areas and housing in cities. The'amphibious' phenomenon of owning housing in cities is more common in developed eastern regions, and some civil servants have a lot of control. There is absolutely a way to operate the resources to exploit the policy loopholes. However, this problem will be resolved sooner or later."

Civil servants are striving to be farmers

As employment pressure increases, countless people are fighting for it. Today, in Yiwu City, Zhejiang Province, some civil servants have moved their registered permanent residence to the countryside and are willing to return to the village to "become a farmer". Not long ago, more than 200 civil servants with rural household registration in Yiwu were required by the Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Organization Department of the Municipal Party Committee and other departments to move their household registration from rural areas, handle conversions from rural areas, and withdraw from the membership of the village collective economic organization. Why did Yiwu "exclude" these civil servants from their "village status"? Behind the strange things of civil servants "striving to be farmers"

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