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The Development of Small Towns with Distinctive Local Features in China in the New Era: Progress and Challenges (Special Issue, No.11, 2019)


By Zhang Xiaohuan & Yang Xiaodong, Research Team on “The Innovative Development Model of Small Towns with Distinctive Local Features in China in the New Era”, DRC

Research Report, Special Issue, No.11, 2019 (Total 1639) 2019-1-25

Abstract: Small towns with distinctive local features are a new type of platforms for innovation and entrepreneurship that differ from towns and industrial parks based on administrative regional division. With the continued improvement of national policies, small towns with distinctive local features in the new era have phased in the stage for regulated development. In recent years, these small towns have become the fourth economic geographic mode since reform and opening-up. With the function of fueling the integration of industrial development with urbanization drive and creating more job opportunities in the new era, they have become the new carriers for the implementation of national strategies in the new era. Despite the major contributions made by these small towns, they also face some problems. For instance, some township leaders are not fully aware of the roadmaps for further advance, making blind expansion of housing construction, which has increased debt burdens on the government. Such issues need to be addressed through related innovations in the development model, supply-side reform, demand-side management and supervision-evaluation mechanisms. In the future, a batch of small towns with distinctive local features will be removed from the national list through strict examination and evaluation, while some constructions in some other small towns will become half-finished or uncompleted due to market competition and environment changes. These incidents deserve the government's high attention.

Key words: small towns with distinctive local features, innovation of models, challenges