Urbanization and Policy in Japan, South Korea and China

Chengri Ding and Xingshuo Zhao

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Countries in Far East Asia (China, Japan and South Korea) have or are experienced periods of rapid economic growth that is accompanied by fast urbanization in the past half century. These countries illustrate urbanization patterns that are similar to some part in the world, but are distinguished by strong national efforts in containing large city’s growth. China has introduced a specific urbanization strategy that favors small city growth while South Korea adopted national policies including the most-famous greenbelt to redirect urban growth from the Seoul Metropolitan Areas. Although these countries adopted national policies for similar objectives, different approaches and instruments are used. This chapter will review urbanization patterns and then carefully examine national urbanization strategy and policy. Based on contrast and comparison, impacts of national policy on urbanization are assessed and evaluated to draw lessons along with policy recommendations and implication.