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Qiu Baoxing: Adhering to the Five Bottom Lines For Healthy Urbanization

Source: Xinhuanet, Jiangsu Channel Date: 2015-04-13
              On 10 April, an international conference titled “Green Urbanization – Innovation and Practice” was held in Nanjing, with the co-organization of the Jiangsu Urbanization and Urban-Rural Planning Center (UUPC), the Urban China Initiative (UCI) and the New Cities Foundation (NCF).

At the conference, Qiu Baoxing, Counsellor of the State Council and former Vice Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development delivered a keynote speech titled “Adhering to the Five Bottom Lines for Healthy Urbanization”. According to him the five bottom lines for healthy urbanization include coordinated development of big, medium-sized and small cities and small towns, complementary and coordinated development of cities and rural areas, compact urban space, prevention of empty cities and protection of cultural and natural heritage.

Qiu Baoxing said, “We cannot develop urban and rural areas in a uniform way, because that will waste rural land resources, damage cultural heritage, lose the most cost-effective bases for old-age living and destroy the central tenacity of the whole economic structure and make the economic structure extremely fragile. That is something many economists have never expected. We often wrongly think that agricultural modernization is about large-scale land operations. That is actually misunderstanding. We should take a region-specific and tailored approach. The three provinces in northeast China can engage in large-scale land operations, while places like Jiangsu and Zhejiang shall try their best to develop services-oriented large-scale economy in developing agricultural modernization so as to blaze a path of new agricultural modernization with urban and rural integration.”

Qiu Baoxing stated that healthy and harmonious urbanization is a result of the joint mutually-reinforcing work of the invisible hand of the market and the visible hand of the government. In case of big policies, if ineffective urban planning enforcement broke the above five bottom lines, the consequences would be difficult to reverse. He believes that only people-centered urbanization policies can last, with urban planning properly addressing the needs of future generations for living and development space and resources.