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Urban Planning Goes Rural

Conceptualising the “New Village”
David Bray
p. 53-62


A major goal of the national program to Build a New Socialist Countryside is to modernise and urbanise the rural built environment. This objective has been bolstered by the extension of state-sponsored urban planning regimes into rural jurisdictions. One of the implications of this is that every administrative village in China is now required to commission and implement a 20-year “master plan” for redevelopment. Through tracing the origins and rationale of key policy initiatives, in the first part of this paper I aim to show how urban planning came to be seen as an appropriate tool for solving a range of intractable rural “problems.” In the second part of the paper, I present a case study of village redevelopment in order to illustrate how the principles of urban planning have been applied to the re-making of rural built environments and the transformation of rural life.

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Bibliographical reference

David Bray, « Urban Planning Goes Rural », China Perspectives, 2013/3 | 2013, 53-62.

Electronic reference

David Bray, « Urban Planning Goes Rural », China Perspectives [Online], 2013/3 | 2013, Online since 01 September 2016, connection on 21 July 2018. URL :

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About the author

David Bray

David Bray is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Department of Sociology and Social Policy of the University of Sydney.SSPS Administration, R.C. Mills A26, University of Sydney NSW 2006 (

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