Cities to suffer 'urban diseases'

Updated: 2012-02-09 20:00


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BEIJING - Big cities in China are on the brink of a major shortfall in resources and infrastructure capacity, under a problem termed "urban diseases," a new report has warned.

The report on city development, released on Thursday by the Social Sciences Academic Press (China), said that such phenomena are rooted in imbalances between rapidly swelling populations and scarce urban resources.

In the coming period, China's big cities will suffer a concentrated outbreak of urban diseases, which will become the key hidden danger affecting their stability, it said.

There is no time to delay putting mechanisms in place to cope, the report urged.

Urban diseases involve adverse affects generated when there is huge disparity between an urban center's resources and its social needs at crucial points in its development, and the functions of various overloaded sectors are thrown into disarray, it said.

In particular, the report cited a lack of provident city planning giving rise to such problems as traffic congestion and pollution.

China's rapid urbanization in recent years has changed the population structure of the traditionally agricultural country, it pointed out.

China's urbanites outnumbered rural residents by the end of 2011, with 690.79 million, or 51.27 percent of the total population, living in cities, according to numbers from the National Bureau of Statistics.

At the same time, citizens are swarming into central cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, escalating their resource strain, according to the report.