Share |

In Nanjing A Front-Row Seat to the City’s Challenges

  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home6/saismedi/public_html/saisphere/sites/all/modules/openpublish_core/theme_helpers/node-article.tpl.inc on line 48.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home6/saismedi/public_html/saisphere/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /home6/saismedi/public_html/saisphere/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/views_handler_field_user.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home6/saismedi/public_html/saisphere/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 0.

As I write here at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center (HNC), entering its new academic year, orientation is in full swing. The center—with 168 students, our second-largest student body ever—is positively buzzing with excitement and anticipation.

The SAISPHERE theme for this year, “cities and global affairs,” is fitting for the HNC. There could hardly be a better perch from which to observe the challenges faced by major cities in emerging economies. With a population of 7.5 million and growing, Nanjing is grappling with severe challenges.

Behind many of China’s urban issues is the ongoing largest mass migration in the history of humanity. In 2011, China’s population became more than 50 percent urban for the first time ever. This is up from 37 percent in the mid-1980s. In just the past decade, the urban population has increased by nearly 200 million—around two-thirds of the population of the entire United States. With the percentage expected to rise to 70 percent by 2030, the current and future strain on China’s cities is unprecedented.

I recently had the opportunity to attend a talk by Song Linfei. As director of the Counselor’s Office of Jiangsu Province (of which Nanjing is the capital) and chair of the Chinese Sociological Association, he brings both policy and academic perspectives to the study of China’s urban centers. In his talk, Song identified three main challenges facing China’s cities.

First is what he calls “incomplete urbanization,” most plainly represented by stark inequalities between the services available to native residents of a city and the migrants who flock to cities looking for better-paying jobs than they can find in the countryside.

Second are ongoing infrastructure woes, including mass transit and the provision of social services to everyone, regardless of where they are from.

And third are problems relating to automobiles, including worsening traffic congestion and air pollution.

Nationwide, the average ratio of urban to rural income in 2011 was 3.13-to-1, down from 3.23-to-1 in 2010. The trend is good, but the gap is still vast. The positive news for Nanjing is that in Jiangsu Province, the gap is smaller at 2.20-to-1.

As long as urban incomes remain significantly higher than rural incomes, powerful incentives will remain for migration to cities. And because urban residents consume much more energy than do rural ­residents—about three times as much, according to Song—the drain on China’s already scarce energy resources poses tremendous challenges.

As if that were not enough, the working population continues to decline in absolute numbers, and even more so as a fraction of the aging population. This not only makes meeting the needs of the elderly more difficult but also creates inflationary pressures, as the supply of able-bodied laborers dwindles.

City governments are doing their best to stay out in front of these changes by reforming the residence permit (hukou) system, by increasing the provision of social services such as education and health care, and by setting up financial safety nets in the form of broader health insurance coverage and retirement funds.

The 2012–13 HNC curriculum offers some glimpses into these problems and possible solutions:

  • Political scientist Adam Webb’s Politics of Rural Development course sheds light on many of the causes and trends behind China’s rural-urban divide.
  • Economist Jacob Kurien’s Development Economics course provides grounding in the causes underlying the challenges of developing economies, including migration to cities. His Economics of Globalization course examines these and other issues in the context of the global economy.
  • Political scientist Gaye ­Christoffersen—new at the HNC this academic year and joining us from JHU’s Homewood campus in Baltimore—is offering this spring a course on Asian Energy Security, providing a broad perspective on East Asian energy challenges made more difficult by, among other things, China’s rapid industrialization and urbanization.
  • A longtime favorite HNC course, Hua Tao’s Social Issues of China’s Modernization, takes a broad look at modernization in China and the problems it poses, including urbanization.

The situation of China’s rural-to-urban migrants, especially their children, is particularly dire. For the past two years, and continuing this year, HNC students have been making a difference through the Migrant School Learning Initiative. Every Saturday morning, busy students, under the guidance of Paul Armstrong-Taylor, HNC’s resident professor of International Economics, travel to nearby Bainian School to teach English to students in their late teens. These students, who come to Nanjing from the countryside, are all from extremely impoverished backgrounds and are looking to improve their prospects through professional education, including instruction in English.

Armstrong-Taylor says of the effort, “The Bainian School offers a career path for talented but disadvantaged rural students. It provides training in academic and vocational skills but also internships in four- or five-star hotels in Nanjing. Our role, as volunteers, is to develop the students’ English ability and multicultural awareness—critical skills in the hotel industry. Already, graduates of the program have had considerable success—a source of great pride and satisfaction to us.”

This fall, the second round of the Hassenfeld Social Enterprise Fund competition began, and while it is up to the students to figure out how to make the biggest impact, there are many ways in which their work might be applied to Nanjing’s urban challenges.

How fortunate our HNC students are to have the chance to examine issues affecting so many human beings from right here—where the changes are happening—and to try to make a difference on the ground.


Comments

I was getting bore since morning but as soon as I got this link & reached at this blog, I turned into fresh and also joyful too.
Curry

New web site is looking good. Thanks for the great effort.
https://slitheriohackcheats.online/

Whether somebody pursuit of his vital thing, hence he or she desires to be accessible that at length, hence that thing is maintained over here.
Sequoia Capital India

I got this blog site through my friends and when I searched this really there were informative articles at the place.
wwwweasyformcashcom

My own pupils are already creating several decent dissertations and also I am aware it really is almost all as a result of the sites. You understand, many people would certainly assistance pupils to be able to basically utilize accessible on the web yet plainly not necessarily an individual; an individual encourage them to figure out how to compose.

poker online indonesia

Glad to chat your blog, I seem to be forward to more reliable articles and I think we all wish to thank so many good articles, blog to share with us.Escorts en Calama

Glad to chat your blog, I seem to be forward to more reliable articles and I think we all wish to thank so many good articles, blog to share with us.Escorts En La Serena

Well, I have got the best information from here the site is fully stuffed with the knowledgeable information.

whole life insurance affordable

Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates.wedding stationery

This is surely a very good blog, thanks a lot for sharing such nice information here.
liability on car insurance

Good website! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes it is. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS which may do the trick? Have a great day!
mlb jerseys from china

Thanks for the blog loaded with so many information. Stopping by your blog helped me to get what I was looking for.
cha para emagrecer

Thanks for the nice blog. It was very useful for me. I'm happy I found this blog. Thank you for sharing with us.I too always learn something new from your post.
quiz game

Excellent and decent post. I found this much informative. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this web site. Thank you for this post. Rebelmouse.com

It kind of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. http://www.rebelmouse.com

These are the same people you might rejoice to hear that they were diagnosed the next day with some supposedly avoidable chronic illness like cancer! Except that you are much too nice a person to ever do that
website here

These are the same people you might rejoice to hear that they were diagnosed the next day with some supposedly avoidable chronic illness like cancer! Except that you are much too nice a person to ever do that
website here

I read this article. I think You put a great deal of exertion to make this article. I like your work. agency nursing jobs

Make the most of mainly premium substances - you will find him or her for: San Francisco asset search

thanks for this usefull article, waiting for this article like this again. buy youtube views|youtube subscribers

Get Your Free Credit Score On This Website and get your free credit report back to 700 or Higher on Your Credit Score Thanks For Visiting Free Credit Score

Thank you for some other informative website. The place else may just I get that kind of information written in such a perfect method? I have a venture that I am simply now running on. and I’ve been at the glance out for such info.
star wars galaxy of heroes hack

I simply want to tell you that I am new to weblog and definitely liked this blog site. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have wonderful stories. Cheers for sharing with us your blog.

Download Facetime

I actually took a lot of information on this church. Then how do I join this church, then is there any specific requirements that must be met.
website here

Here at this site really the fastidious material collection so that everybody can enjoy a lot.
best food coolers

Nice to read this article will be very helpful in the future, share more info with us. Good job! memory healer program step

Thank you very much for this informative post.I really enjoyed the article.I hope that other readers will also experience how I feel after reading your article. Amtico Flooring

Hi Dear, have you been certainly visiting this site daily, if that's the case you then will certainly get good knowledge.
Sequoia Capital

We believe that everyone deserves a chance at moving ahead with their lives. In our Mitigation services we strive to provide the Court with your history For our other court appointed services, our goal is to help provide the most up.

writing help

Hi Dear, have you been certainly visiting this site daily, if that's the case you then will certainly get good knowledge.
Curry Macfarlane

This short article posted only at the web site is truly good.
instant payday loans online

Hi Dear, have you been certainly visiting this site daily, if that's the case you then will certainly get good knowledge.
direct payday lenders no thirdparty

I know this is quality based blogs along with other stuff.reasonalbe whole life insurance

Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article.
Pakistani Chat Rooms

Your content shows the power, I’m about to add this to my bookmarks.
Social Media marketing

This is really an excellent blog as well as i
liability insurance car

I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes. but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information?
voyance web

The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred was good. Thanks for sharing..
buy real adipex online

The light units are accessible in a wide cluster of styles. bangle bracelets Keeping the cutting edges free of dust results in the fan being more productive and enduring longer.

The deep you dig into the topic and endow with us the perfect knowledge is appreciable.
Palm Beach Gardens Hair Extensions

I recently found many useful information in your website especially this blog page. Among the lots of comments on your articles. Thanks for sharing. Orange County Web Design

This is very interesting content! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your points and have come to the conclusion that you are right about many of them. You are great
international 0800 calling

Awesome dispatch! I am indeed getting apt to over this info, is truly neighborly my buddy. Likewise fantastic blog here among many of the costly info you acquire. Reserve up the beneficial process you are doing here. Tea Tree Oil for Hair

Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.

Kik APK Download

When these homeopaths see an aggravation, they are relaxation assured that the individual's physique wisdom has responded

have a peek at this web-site

It is fine, nonetheless evaluate the information and facts around this correct. headshop wholesale

I recently found many useful information in your website especially this blog page. Among the lots of comments on your articles. Thanks for sharing. Nepali movie

Great write-up, I am a big believer in commenting on blogs to inform the blog writers know that they’ve added something worthwhile to the world wide web!.. birthday wishes

I'm now not sure the most effective place you are acquiring your significant details, but good topic concern you can try this out