20 Years After Reforms: Challenges to Planning and Development in China’s City-Regions and Opportunities for Remote Sensing
Since economic and agricultural reforms were initiated in the late 1970s, China’s cities have grown at a remarkable pace. Urban population increased from 172 million in 1978 to 517 million in 2003, increasing the urbanization level from 19 percent to 40 percent (2004 State Statistical Bureau data). The number of Chinese cities has increased from 132 in 1949 to 667 in 1999 (Anderson and Ge 2004). It is estimated that urban population will grow to almost 5 billion by 2030, an expected increase of 2 billion people from the estimated level for 2003 (United Nations 2004). However, aggregate growth measures give limited information regarding spatial patterns of urbanization or the underlying processes that shape urban areas.
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