Monday, May 30, 2011

To urbanize China ....

The Chinese need American coal--metallurgical coal, to be specific--to meet their goal of "urbanizing" another 300 million Chinese by 2025. China is using the coal it is importing from the United States (much of it mined in rural Western Pennsylvania) and elsewhere to create the infrastructure--especially buildings--associated with cities. Indeed, a great deal of China's urban infrastructure has been built in just the last two decades.

Listen to Zoe Chace's story about this urban boom in China. It presents China's current urbanization goals as parallel to those of the United States a century earlier. The United States became more urban than rural in about 1920, and right now China's population is about half rural, half urban. In many cases, the cities China is building will be brand new cities, though existing cities are sure to continue to sprawl, too.

I have written here about the challenges presented by uneven development and spatial inequality in Asia.

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