Managing the rural–urban transformation in East Asia in the 21st century

Case study: Rural – Urban Transportation in China

Urbanization is an inevitable part of the process of creating a modern state; indeed, the economies of scale, the creation of mass markets and the higher productivity that occur in urban areas make cities, it is argued, absolutely crucial to the process of development (McGee, 2008). Urbanization also occur in southeast area had been characterized by rapid urbanization, increased industrial production and the increasing importance of the urban-based service sector. In term of urbanization in South Asia, there are some issue had been occurred such as: the failure of policy makers and researchers to understand that the urbanization–industrialization transition and how the important contribution of agriculture.

Most development theory assumes that developing societies are passing through some kind of transition from underdevelopment to development (Rostow 1960; in McGee, 208). There is the urbanization transition or transformation that predicts an inevitable shift from low levels of urbanization to high levels of urbanization as countries become more developed. In contemporary East Asia, the rural–urban transformation is a fundamentally driven by a network of linkages that provides a dynamic spatial frame of flows of people, commodities, information and capital. In term of transforming rural and urban space in Asia in 1980 – 2000, the data show that there is increase global agriculture production from 28% to 43 % and increase global labor from 73% to 79%. It is means that Global level of urbanization increase 36,8% - 47,2%.

Since 1978, china has been experiencing increasing agricultural productivity, increased rural–urban migration and growing industrialization and urbanization focused on the coastal zone and the large extended metropolitan regions. in other hand its created problem of environmental sustainability. There are three policy decision related with this issue consist of: first, introduction of the household responsibility production system; second, increased the opportunities for off-farm employment opportunities and growing markets for agricultural products; and third, the national policy of the mid-1990s to encourage the growth of urban centers, as a principle strategy for modernization. The successful of this policy have led to a shift in consumer for food product and some challenges related with agriculture such are on an overwhelmingly small scale and the growing demand of central city cores and their suburbs for resources which have serious impact upon agriculture in these areas. The fact that rural–urban transformation has crucial impacts on Eco-systems means that there must be further clarification of this concept.

Managing rural urban transition in Asia in term of rural urban transformation is related with the institutional response should be in the level of Extended Metropolitan Region (EMR). EMR involves three commitments. First, must be a two-fold interpretation of governance; second, management of these EMRs must be directed to ensuring livability and sustainability; third, there must be a commitment to the preservation of the Eco-systems. Related with Rapid industrialization and urbanization in China have greatly changed the rural areas in the aspects of cultivated land loss for factory workshop, and rural labors transformation for workers. Rural development depends on the change of its affecting factors, including material and non-material aspects of two major groups involved in natural resources, human resources, industry and employment, information, science and technology (Long, 2009). As example in Eastern Coastal China, the governance manage rural urban development by industrialization and urbanization transformation by divided four rural development types: farming industry dominated rural development type (FIT), industry dominated rural development type (IDT), rural development type focusing on business, tourism and services industries (BTT), and balanced rural development type (BDT).  By grouping the rural development, the governance will easier to manage it.

I argue that to manage rural urbanization transition, the institutional has the most important role to manage it due to the institutional as the initiate of the policy, decision maker, and the also should implemented. Furthermore, the first thing that should be done is improving the institutional capacity. Institutional capacity here related divided in three level involved: first,  Individual level related with the stakeholders who participated or affected in the institution such as: the number of stakeholders, education; motivation, proportion etc. Second, System level which have relation to the policy making and legal basis process. The system should be focus on the macro level, consist of policy and inter-organizational relationship based on the legal framework.  Legal basis talking about the policy behind the program and political will from the government. And Mechanism and inter-regional relationship talks about the legal mechanism of the program between stakeholders, finding the motive, strength and weakness behind the relationship; and third, Organization level explain about the mechanism and operational process of the organization (formal and non formal), not only the mechanism of government organization, but also some organization beyond the government institution.  In term of organization level we also elaborate through policy implementation, organization structure, operational mechanism, and financial capacity and resources. By improving the governance capacity, I argue that managing rural urban transformation will easier to implement and understanding the rural urban development to achieve coordinated and balanced development. By balanced development, impact of disparity will decrease and each area have same distribution in term of development.

McGee, T.G. 2008. Managing The Rural – Urban Transformation in East Asia in The 21st Century. Research System for Sustainability Science and Springer.
Long, Hualou et al. 2009. Differentiation of Rural Development Driven by Industrialization and Urbanization in Eastern Coastal China. Habitat International 33: 454 – 462.
Inam, Aseem. 2002. Institutional Analysis and Urban Planning: Means or Ends?.Urban and regional Research Collaborative: University of Michigan.
The World Bank. 1996. The Tools for Institutional, Political, and Social Analysis of Policy Reform. Holland.