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/ 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, $options) in /home6/saismedi/public_html/saisphere/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/ on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home6/saismedi/public_html/saisphere/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ 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.


critical skills in the hotel industry. Already, graduates of the program have had considerable successSingapore cheating spouse

I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon. and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business.
mini drones for sale

bidding for the limited number of OMAS fountain pens heated up. Even SAIS Bologna Center Director Kenneth H. Keller, a noted aficionado of fine pens, entered the competition. When all was said and done, all 14 fountain pens were sold, and more than $8,000 was raised for the center.private investigation Singapore

Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon! Obsession Phrases

I am truly pleased to discover this website as well as do appreciate reading through helpful content articles submitted right here. The actual suggestions from the writer had been amazing, many thanks for that reveal.

Cartoon HD

Your work is very good and I appreciate you and hopping for some more informative posts. Thank you for sharing great information to us.
go to this web-site

I found your this post while searching for information about blog-related research ... It's a good post .. keep posting and updating information.
More Bonuses

You know your projects stand out of the herd. There is something special about them. It seems to me all of them are really brilliant!
hcg shots

Hair Styling, Hair Perm, Bridal makeup and hair. We have a wide collection of haircuts for women with the proper shampoo before dressing supreme garcinia cambogia canada

: When it comes to Beauty, Your Hairstyle is the major Center of attraction. We provide Best Hair salon and the Beauty salon experts in Mississauga.
Salon Coupons Mississauga

HM Hair Spa Facilitate you with the finest hair styles, Hair cuttings and Hair services in Mississauga. We are best in Hair cutting, Hair Styling, Hair Perm, Bridal makeup and hair. We have a wide collection of haircuts for women with the proper shampoo before dressing and proper setting of hours after cutting them.
Hair Salon Mississauga

I'm glad I found this web site, I couldn't find any knowledge on this matter prior to.Also operate a site and if you are ever interested in doing some visitor writing for me if possible feel free to let me know, im always look for people to check out my web site.
my company

This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it,
great post to read

It’s my fortune to go to at this blog and realize out my required stuff that is also in the quality.

Manic Depression therapists

Very useful post. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up. steroid shop

This blog has very distinct features. Thanks

Manic Depression treatment methods

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info.
cheap nfl jerseys

I'm certainly very happy to read this blog site posts which carries plenty of helpful data, thanks for providing such information.

Wedding Videographer

Hi to all, the blog has really the dreadful information I really enjoyed a lot. clash of clans gem hack Recommended site

I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?
Tayrona National Park

Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging. Jarabacoa

The quality of content is fine and the conclusion is fine. I read your excellent post. After reading this post, i really appreciate your effort and my request is to please share us more post in future. Keep it up.


Excellent read, Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.
college paper world

This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post


Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work.
college paper world

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. It is the old what goes around comes around routine.
Secrets To Dog Training

I have checked this link this is really important for the people to get benefit from.
open multiple urls at once

Your work is very good and I appreciate you and hopping for some more informative posts. Thank you for sharing great information to us.
Pregnancy Miracle

Really many thanks for this awesome helpful blog. I love getting impressive information….
whole life quote

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. Permainan Taruhan Game Casino

Hey buddies, such a marvelous blog you have made I’m surprised to read such informative stuf

anxiety therapy modalities

Hey nice post man! Thanks for incredible info.


At Spa Samira Laser Clinic, our number one priority is customer satisfaction. Highly experienced staff, certified aestheticians, and competitive prices are among reasons why our clients choose us. With services ranging from facial peels and waxes, to laser treatments and permanent hair reduction, we strive to exceed your expectations by offering exceptional customer service, employing state-of-the-art technology and using top-of-the-line products. Contact us to schedule an appointment, and one of our aestheticians will be happy to talk to you. anti aging clinic

A prominent feature of Fajardo’s strategy of social inclusion was the public works projects constructed in Medellin’s poorest neighborhoods. packers and movers pimpri chinchwad

This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!.
fbs indonesia

Obviously this is amazing blog! You are too smart person to deal with this kind of issues! jaipur to delhi cab

While the admin of the web site is working, no question soon it will likely be famous, due to its feature blogs.
opulence for life bonus

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

free business calls

We provide you with the finest selection of free downloadable Full Games that will bring you lots of fun! Choose any Full Games you like, download it right away and enjoy stunning graphics, marvelous sound effect and diverse music of this games.Free Full Games Download now!

I constantly emailed this site post page to all my friends, because if prefer to read it then my all friends will too.

PTSD news

Goedkoop, snel en professioneel een logo laten maken al vanaf 15 euro. Uniek en handgemaakt.Mediator

Hello, this is fastidious post I actually loved reading this.

Godīga attieksme pret darbiniekiem ir viens no būtiskākajiem aspektiem, kas raksturo sociālu uzņēmumu. kit tatuaggi

This is an incredible rousing article.I am essentially satisfied with your great work.You put truly exceptionally accommodating data. Keep it up. Continue blogging. Hoping to perusing your next post. cccam server

Totally unique stuff is here really amazing!!!

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

opulence for life

This is very significant, and yet necessary towards just click this unique backlink: Love Traction Lines

I have feel that this online journal is truly have each one of those quality that qualify a web journal to be an one.I needed to leave a little remark to bolster you and wish you a decent continuation.
best mens watches under 500 | Online Shopping

This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information... The Magic of Making Up