Sprawling cities, low efficiency in land use and oversized roads and squares are among the problems China plans to avoid in the next 17 years, according to the country's latest program on urbanization.
The National New-type Urbanization Plan （2014-2020）， issued on Sunday by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, is the country's first official plan on urbanization.
It will serve as a guideline for China's urbanization and has summarized lessons from home and abroad, said Xu Hongcai, head of the Department of Information under the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
The plan admitted mistakes in China's urbanization since 1978, including land urbanization that has outpaced the urbanization of population, "urban diseases" such as traffic jams, low capacity in dealing with sewage and garbage, and pollution in air, water and soil, Xu said.
China's permanent urban residents make up 53.7 percent of its population, lower than the developed nations' average of 80 percent and the average of 60 percent in developing countries with similar per capita income levels as China, according to the plan.
The registered urban population, or those with city "hukou" under China's household registration system, accounted for only 35.7 percent of China's total population by the end of 2013, according to the National Bureau of Statistics （NBS）。
By 2020, permanent urban residents will reach about 60 percent of the population, while residents with city hukou should account for about 45 percent of the total population, according to the plan.
The number of rural migrant workers rose 2.4 percent to 268.94 million by the end of 2013 from a year earlier, accounting for 19.76 percent of the country's total population, according to the NBS.
But they do not have access to the same public services as other urbanites with city hukou.
The government has vowed to help 100 million migrant workers and other permanent urban residents to obtain urban hukou.
"The plan has put human beings at the center of urbanization," Xu said.
The country should guide the reasonable flow of population, help rural residents become urban citizens in an orderly manner and make basic urban public services available to all permanent urban residents, it stressed.
The plan highlights ecological progress and urbanization quality, Xu added.
Pan Jiahua, director of the Institute of Urban and Environmental Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, warned against "pseudo-low-carbon" styles.
Some cities have planned super-high buildings to improve efficiency in land use, but it takes a lot of fossil energy to bring water to a floor hundreds of meters high, making them "pseudo-low-carbon," Pan said.
China will boost construction of green cities, using ecological advancements in urban development to create green production modes, green lifestyle and green consumption modes, the plan said. Endi
China Unveils Landmark Urbanization Plan
BEIJING, March 16 （Xinhua） -- China on Sunday unveiled an urbanization plan for the 2014-2020 period in an effort to steer the country's urbanization onto a human-centered and environmentally friendly path.
Urbanization is the road that China must take in its modernization drive, and it serves as a strong engine for sustainable and healthy economic growth, according to the plan released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China （CPC） and the State Council, the country's cabinet.
"Domestic demand is the fundamental impetus for China's development, and the greatest potential for expanding domestic demand lies in urbanization," according to the National New-type Urbanization Plan （2014-2020）。
At present, the proportion of permanent urban residents to China's total population stands at 53.7 percent, lower than developed nations' average of 80 percent, and 60 percent for developing countries with similar per capita income levels as China. （ Registered urban population, or those who hold a "hukou" under China's household registration system, accounted for only 35.7 percent in total population by the end of last year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics （NBS） showed.
An increasing urbanization ratio will help raise the income of rural residents through employment in cities and unleash the consumption potential, according to the plan.
It will also bring about large demands for investment in urban infrastructure, public service facilities and housing construction, thus providing continuous impetus for economic development, the plan said.
The number of rural migrant workers increased 2.4 percent to 268.94 million by the end of last year, accounting for 19.76 percent of the country's total population, NBS data showed.
Currently, they do not have access to the same public services as other urbanites with a city "hukou".
One of the basic principles for pushing forward urbanization before 2020 is putting people at the center and making sure that all people can enjoy the country's modernization achievements, the plan said.
The country should guide the reasonable flow of population, help rural residents become urban citizens in an orderly manner and make basic urban public services available to all permanent urban residents, it said.
Other principles set by the plan include coordinating urban and rural development, optimizing macro-level city layouts and integrating ecological civilization into the entire urbanization process.
By 2020, China's ratio of permanent urban residents to total population should reach about 60 percent, while residents with city hukou should account for about 45 percent of total population, according to the plan.
The country will help 100 million migrant workers and other permanent urban residents to get urbanite status.
China will also optimize city layouts by enhancing the leading role of major cities, increasing the number of small and medium-sized cities and improving the service functions of small towns, the plan showed.
A scientific and reasonable urban development model should be adopted, with green production and consumption becoming the mainstream in urban economic activities.
The plan added that China should strive to push for harmonious and pleasant living conditions in cities by making basic public services accessible to all permanent urbanites and pursuing better ecology, more clean air and safe drinking water, the plan showed.
The plan will provide strategic and fundamental guidance for the healthy development of urbanization across the country during the seven- year period.
The CPC Central Committee and the State Council said in a circular Sunday that governments at various levels should enhance their understanding of the new type of urbanization and steer urbanization toward the right direction.
Local authorities should earnestly implement the plan based on their respective conditions to make sure that tasks set in the landmark plan will be fulfilled, according to the circular.
This is China's first official plan on urbanization, showcasing great significance the government attaches to its urbanization process.