ISSUES2014 No.4
Editor’s Note: In China, the countryside was actually the birthplace of its reforms in the late 1970s and, in the early 1980s, the Central Government of China had given high priority to the reforms in the countryside, with its No. 1 Document each year from 1982 to 1986 being continuously contributed to the countryside development. This inevitably led to the rapid development and transformation of the villages in the countryside. However, it is until 1993 when the Administrative Regulations on Planning and Construction of Villages and Towns was issued by the then Ministry of Construction, following the promulgation of the Urban Planning Law of People’s Republic of China in 1990, that these villages were formally taken into the jurisdiction of urban planning administration. Along with the coming of the new century, countryside development has been kept on the top of the policy list of the Central Government, with the so-called “three rural issues,” i.e., the issues of agriculture, countryside, and farmers, being the key contents of its No. 1 Document during the ten years from 2004 to 2013. At the same time, village planning has also been further strengthened since the Urban and Rural Planning Law of People’s Republic of China was put into effect in 2008, which confirms its statutory role in the urban planning system of China. Nevertheless, although the Methods of Village and Town Plan Formulation was issued in 2000 to technically regulate the formulation of village plans, the practice of village planning has been mostly characterized by repeating, in terms of both content and methodology, the mode of urban planning in cities, which to certain extent cannot meet the actual development demands of the countryside. Nowadays, under the circumstance of new urbanization which highlights the balance between urban and rural development, as well as the complement between cities and the countryside, it is necessary to think about and work out through experiments in an innovative way, based on the profound reflections on the practice of village planning in the past decades, the fundamental principles and methodologies of village planning which should be more adaptable to the actual situations of the villages and be better to promote the healthy development of the countryside area, with particular focus on preserving the socio-economic vitality of the countryside and the cultural identity of the villages.

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