Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (10): 1681-1698.doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1685-z

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Cognition and construction of the theoretical connotations of new urbanization with Chinese characteristics

CHEN Mingxing1,2, YE Chao3, LU Dadao1,2, SUI Yuwen1,2, GUO Shasha1,2,*()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, College of Resource and Environment, Beijing 100049, China
    3. College of Geographic Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
  • Received:2018-12-18 Accepted:2019-03-01 Online:2019-10-25 Published:2019-12-09
  • Contact: GUO Shasha
  • About author:Chen Mingxing (1982-), PhD and Professor, specialized in urbanization and regional sustainable development. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41822104);National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41842058);National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41671125)


Since the reform and opening up in China, rapid urbanization has boosted the development of economy and society, but it has also been confronted by tremendous challenges. Multidisciplinary research has focused on the issue of a national new type of urbanization planning, leading to a transformation of China’s urbanization strategy. Further research, however, is needed to explore the theoretical basis for this new approach to urbanization. This paper summarizes the process of development of urbanization in China and describes its specific characteristics, including peri-urbanization, special national conditions, complicated factors, and governance system. China’s urbanization makes a great contribution to urbanization on a world scale. Moreover, the literature on the subject demonstrates the significance of urbanization to the discipline of human and economic geography and the scientific connotations of new urbanization, which is people-oriented, harmonious, inclusive, and sustainable. Against a background of humanism, new urbanization represents a transformation from population urbanization to people-oriented urbanization. There are six crucial scientific issues involved: people-oriented urbanization and equalization of basic public services; urbanization with integrated and coordinated urban and rural development; urbanization in the context of resources and environmental carrying capacity and climate change; diverse regional modes; spatial effect and mechanism; and big data and technical innovation. The paper aims to illustrate the theoretical framework of China’s new urbanization, providing references for both theoretical research and policy formulation.

Key words: new urbanization, Chinese characteristics, theoretical connotations, people-oriented urbanization, sustainable urbanization