The Chinese government hopes that developing integrated clusters of cities, rather than simply focusing new infrastructure investment on large monocentric metropolises, will alleviate pressure on overcrowded and overstretched cities like Beijing and Shanghai.
´Urban cluster´ strategy means it will only be possible to limit the size of major cities like these by developing the areas around them into megaregions, regions incorporating multiple cities and smaller towns.
The largest will be Jing-Jin-Ji, the region around Chengdu and Chongqing (projected population of 60 million), the Yangtze Delta cluster around Shanghai (around 90 million), and the Yangtze River Middle Reaches cluster around Wuhan (projected population 29 million).
The urban clusters will get infrastructure to build fast rail transport that allows people to commute large distances quickly, and investment to develop the second/third/fourth-tier cities in that region to hold devolved functions from the main city – such as moving universities out of Beijing to Xiongan.
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