chapter  7
32 Pages

From rural fragmentation to urban integration

Governance over spatial change
WithJieming Zhu

Compact city is a necessity instead of a choice for high-density low-income countries. Villages as basic agricultural units are autonomous and self-contained, but governance for nonagricultural development bifurcates into two: either villages or townships. For high-density China’s urbanization, optimal land utilization is necessary in order to maximize the provision of building spaces for enormous demand with limited land resources. The high-plot-ratio with low-site-coverage mode should be generated exogenously by design with imposed order, nevertheless. Village-led nonagricultural development gives rise to problems of spatial fragmentation, ecological deterioration, exclusion of migrants, and underutilized land resources. Land use planning is installed to ensure the provision of infrastructure and social facilities that help to deal with the rural deficiency of fragmentation and exclusion. Villages have become basic, autonomous, and self-contained socioeconomic units. Fierce competition for limited land resources in developing countries by autonomous actors without effective urban governance often results in spatial fragmentation.