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Inter-territorial migration, life-style choices and dispersed urbanization

China’s next generation of migrants building hyper-networked rural-urban linkages

Dan Narita è dottorando in Urbanistica all’Università Iuav di Venezia. e-mail: dan_narita@hotmail.com

H

di Dan Narita ow China’s millennials and descendants of migrant workers will choose to live, will have a significant impact on the rural hinterland transformation, outside the metropolitan cities of China. When looking at rural-to-urban migration in China, citizens

are being divided into people with either an urban or rural hukou¹ registration. A starting point for thinking about future changes,

La migrazione costituisce un aspetto critico di una sempre più complessa rete di collegamenti tra città e campagna. Altrettanto cruciali sono i flussi di capitali, merci, energia, conoscenza, impatti ambientali e inquinamento che esistono tra le dense città metropolitane e gli insediamenti rurali dispersi. I flussi migratori di persone influenzano le forme di urbanizzazione delle città che sono in continua evoluzione. La realizzazione di megacittà cinesi negli ultimi 30 anni è infatti stata guidata da un afflusso di persone dalle campagne verso la città. Tuttavia, sempre più spesso, vi è un interesse per le zone rurali della Cina, dove attraverso una migrazione inversa la gente si sposta dalle città in insediamenti rurali isolati. L’articolo presenta cinque possibili scelte di stile di vita per la costruzione di nuove comunità e insediamenti nella Cina rurale. Una questione chiave, derivante dalla migrazione inversa, è come trasferire le conoscenze maturate nelle aree urbane in campagna, al fine di guidare la progettazione territoriale degli insediamenti rurali che devono essere concepiti per soddisfare le esigenze e gli interessi delle future generazioni di migranti.

and “back to the countryside” reverse migration could begin by looking at how younger generations of migrants in China may choose to live. The characters described hereunder, are people with five hypothetical life–style choices. While each person experiences unique circumstances, the five characters outlined may represent paradigmatic scenarios affecting life in remote areas undergoing change. Having the proposed life-styles multiplied with individual variations, would eventually create networks of “urbanizedrural” people. Growing networks of communities in a dispersed city would gradually have ripple effects on spatial-territorial transformations, and enable new trickle-down economies to emerge (Li et al. 2015). The five millennials presented here are An, Boqin, Changchang, Deming, and Eu-meh². An is a 24 year old daughter of retired migrant worker parents, who worked in Guangzhou city during the economic boom in the mid 90s. An was left in rural Huilong village, in Guangdong. She was raised by her grandparents, who were cultivating a small farm, merely harvesting enough to make ends meet (img. 04). She continues to help her family with their agricultural pursuits. Her family finds it increasingly difficult to etch out a livelihood. She is considering the possibility of leasing out the farm land as part of an agricultural integration program in her village. Nonetheless, she and her family are concerned over the possible eviction from their land by larger farming operations. Thus, the family is determined to independently farm their land. An is trying to obtain state farming subsidies.

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