The rise of major metropolises across China since the 1990s has been a double-edged sword: Although big cities function as economic powerhouses, concentrated urban growth can worsen regional inequalities, governance challenges, and social tensions.
Wary of these dangers, China’s national leaders have tried to forestall top-heavy urbanization. However, urban and regional development policies at the subnational level have not always followed suit. China’s Urban Champions explores the development paths of different provinces and asks why policymakers in many cases favor big cities in a way that reinforces spatial inequalities rather than reducing them, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.
Kyle Jaros combines in-depth case studies of Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, and Jiangsu provinces with quantitative analysis to shed light on the political drivers of uneven development.
The book highlights the key role of provincial units in determining the nation’s metropolitan and regional development trajectory.