China working to speed urbanization and reform Hukou system for small and medium sized cities

China’s National Development and Reform Commission, the nation’s top economic planning agency, said today it will promote urbanization and issue supporting policies on residency, land, capital, housing and public services.

Priority will be given to investments in projects such as shantytown redevelopment, construction of affordable housing, more railway infrastructure in central and western China and major projects to promote energy saving, emissions reduction and environmental improvement.

The conference reiterated the strategy outlined in the Third Plenum document that urbanization and the reform of the hukou system should focus on small and medium-sized cities, while migration to the biggest cities should be strictly controlled.

“Not every city or town has to grow like a giant,” the conference pointed out, according to Xinhua.

The conference repeated a pledge made in a document released after last month’s Third Plenum to relax the household registration system. Allowing migrant workers to gain urban residency status in an “orderly manner” will be a primary task, according to yesterday’s statement.

Concerned that local authorities will see urbanization as an opportunity to boost infrastructure or develop too quickly, the conference warned that targets should be “practical and realistic,” Xinhua said. Officials should not pursue “quick results,” rather they should push forward in an “active and steady manner,” it said.

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