Village revitalization in Chinese megaregions in the era of digitalization: Seeking sustainable strategies for Jing-Jin-Ji

Henry Endemann, L. Qu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Villages in Chinese megaregions are struggling to economically compete with their megaregional context. In order to prosper, villages seem to have two choices: to preserve their structure as much as possible and become “beautiful villages in the countryside” that attract tourism; or to radically re-develop and cluster with other villages, attempting to copy the economic success of larger towns. As an alternative to these conventional strategies, it is desirable to explore more endogenous forms of village- revitalization based on their transformation towards a new economy. In a megaregional context, the potentials of villagerevitalization have to be assessed in connection to fast-paced, digitalized, and globalized urbanization. This paper presents three approaches for village revitalization that are commonly used in China: e-commerce, agro-tourism, and the attraction of the creative class. For each of them, the influence of digitalization - particularly increasing mobile internet access - is assessed. It can be observed that as much as digitalization can accelerate village revitalization, it also makes the spatial extents of its appearance much less predictable. This increases the necessity to develop sustainable urbanization strategies. Therefore, the revitalization approaches are applied to a case in the north of Langfang, in the center of the Jing-Jin-Ji megaregion. In this sample area, three scenarios for urban development are presented, which could accommodate growth related to village revitalization. The three scenarios are then compared in terms of their contribution to ecosystem services, which is deemed an appropriate indicator for sustainable development. In conclusion, this paper shows that evidence-based regional design can help to cope with the challenges posed by megaregionalization, and that proactive planning approaches can contribute to more sustainable forms of village revitalization within highly urbanized regions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism, IFoU 2020
Subtitle of host publicationUrbanism in the Mobile Internet Era
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-78658-19-1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventUrbanism in the Mobile Internet Era: 13th Conference of the International Forum of Urbanism - online, Nanjing, China
Duration: 9 Oct 202012 Oct 2020


ConferenceUrbanism in the Mobile Internet Era
Internet address


  • Village revitalization
  • digitalization
  • Chinese megaregions
  • Jing-Jin-Ji


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