PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2013, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (12): 1814-1824.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.12.010

• Urban Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Urbanization as a driving force of the progress of industrialization:Reflection and analysis on the path of urban industrialization based on Shunde

YANG Zhenshan1, CAI Jianming1, WEN Ting1,2, SONG Tao1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2013-03-01 Revised:2013-10-01 Online:2013-12-25 Published:2013-12-25
  • Contact: 蔡建明(1961-),男,研究员,博士生导师,主要从事城市可持续发展研究。

Abstract: Under the background of global financial crisis and transformation of economic growth in China, interactions and coordination between industrialization and urbanization have become an urgent issue that needs to be resolved. Currently, research on this topic only focuses on evaluation of the degree of coordination between the two, and a lot more needs to be done to empirically analysis how to coordinate and optimize the relationship and provide practical approach solutions. In this article, we attempt to investigate this issue with a case study in Shunde, one of the earliest industrialized cities with typical characteristics. It is found that, albeit spectacular industrial growth and performance in the past years, Shunde is facing the challenges such as upgrades needed for industrial structures, lack of driving forces for the growth of service industries, lack of investment options for surplus local capitals, shortage of talent and technology resources, and inadequate domestic demand. All these issues are hindering Shunde's further development and indicating that urban market and urban environment of the city are not well developed yet. We argue that both urbanization and industrialization are the two intrinsic parts of a city's development. Although at the early stage urban growth is dependent on the level of industrial development, which produces and provides goods and services to cater people's demand as well as adjust production and after-production processes, urbanization plays a critical role in enhancing the quality of city's further development. Therefore, we propose a theoretical "point-and-circle" development model to describe and summarize the relationship between industrialization and urbanization: industrialization is the basic starting point of urbanization and is characterized by the process of continuous pursuit of industrial chain extension which inevitably encounters problems and challenges; urbanization works as a ring that helps with the synergy of various elements to provide multiple and diversified development environments and space for industrial development. With regard to the spatial development, the ring includes culture, business and commerce, transportation, living, tourism and recreation, and industrial spaces. Each aspect can be an area of development and contributes to different types of industrial development, whereas the industrialization we generally refer to only emphasizes on the last aspect. Therefore, there is still plenty of room for improvement of the quality of urbanization, which in turn drives the momentum of economic development. In this article, we elaborate theoretical model taking Shunde as an example. It's demonstrated that the model can effectively resolve the issues faced by Shunde from both economic and spatial dimensions. On the economy side, we point out that approach of industrial clustering can be adopted to encourage newly emerged industries. For instance, home electronics and furniture industries have already been following this approach. In order to stimulate the economic potential and expand market, tertiary industry needs to be emphasized to create domestic market. Quite related to this issue, investment channels should be broadened to attract, and make best use of, local capitals. It is also the time for Shunde to more progressively participate in global economy, cooperate and compete with other cities to expand market and improve its technology innovation capability. In the meantime, training and cultivating local talents is also important for Shunde to improve its sustainability. In the spatial dimension, Shunde needs new production space such as incubator for upgrading products and industries. The city should pay attention to social and life space seriously, as it is normally an important factor to the local talent pool and development of new industries. Finally, we put forward a strategy for Shunde to strengthen its cooperation and labor division with other cities.

Key words: city development strategy, economic transformation, industrial restructure, industrialization, Shunde, urbanization