The Future of Cities: The Future of Chinese Cities


China represents the cutting edge of 21st century urbanism. Its successes and failures will shape global perceptions of city life, not only in that country but around the world. When future historians assess the 21st century, China, along with India, will likely be their focus. The key shapers, discussed below, include demographics, the impact of digitization, environmental protection, and a looming class divide.

This book is being published as a series, with permission of the American Enterprise Institute. Each week a new chapter will be published, with links to each chapter.

Click or tap a link below to read or download each chapter. (PDFs open in new tab or window)

Introduction: Welcome to the Urban Future – Joel Kotkin

I. The Big Picture for Global Geography

American Aspiration is Metropolitan – Ryan Streeter

The Urban Future: The Great Dispersion – Wendell Cox

The Future of the Big American City is Not Bright – Samuel J. Abrams

II. The Variety of Urban Experiences

The Future of Chinese Cities – Li Sun (new this week)

Li Sun is a lecturer in sociology and social policy at the University of Leeds. Her main research interest is China’s urbanization and governance. Sun also serves as a consultant to the UN, World Bank, and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. She is the author of Rural Urban Migration and Policy Intervention in China: Migrant Workers’ Coping Strategies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).