PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (5): 883-869.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2021.05.014

• Reviews • Previous Articles    

Toward rural-urban co-governance: An interpretation of the change of rural-urban relationship since the reform and opening up

ZHANG Wenbin1,2(), ZHANG Zhibin1,*(), DONG Jianhong1, ZHANG Huailin1, GONG Weimin1   

  1. 1. College of Geography and Environmental Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
    2. School of Finance, Taxation and Public Administration, Lanzhou University of Finance and Economics, Lanzhou 730101, China
  • Received:2020-08-24 Revised:2021-03-07 Online:2021-05-28 Published:2021-07-28
  • Contact: ZHANG Zhibin;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41961029)


The relationship between urban and rural areas in China has been an important relationship for economic and social development and a major concern of the party and the government. In order to explore the relationship between urban and rural areas and its governance logic, the CiteSpace software was used to analyze the research hotspots of rural-urban relationship since the reform and opening up in the 1970s and to interpret its change based on the historical background, and then reveal the contextual characteristics of rural-urban relationship and the internal logic of governance reform. The research shows that since the reform and opening up, rural-urban relationship has gone through four stages—from an improving urban-rural relationship, to rural-urban re-separation, rural-urban relationship adjustment, and integrated rural-urban development. The process reflects the governance logic of breaking the rural-urban division, favoring the urban field, balancing rural-urban development, and promoting rural-urban integration. Since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the relationship between urban and rural areas has developed in the direction of rural-urban integration. Rural-urban co-governance is the internal demand and governance trend of integrated rural-urban development in the new era. Finally, the article discussed the prospect of integrated rural-urban development and rural-urban co-governance from the aspects of abolishing the rural-urban dual system and establishing new supporting systems and mechanisms, breaking disciplinary boundaries and integrating interdisciplinary knowledge and cross-application of practice, and organically combining the two strategies of new urbanization and rural revitalization.

Key words: rural-urban relationship, hotspot analysis, governance logic, rural-urban co-governance, CiteSpace