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China’s urban regions differ significantly from North American and European cases in the distribution of places of residence and places of work. Private vehicular ownership is low, regional commuter transit (such as in Tokyo, Paris and New York) does not yet exist, and distances to work are generally much smaller in China. This is partly due to the development of large, self-contained state-owned enterprise (SOE) complexes that include factories, residences, and public facilities in one location, and the township and village enterprise (TVE) industrialisation model in which places of work and residence are scattered in suburban towns.

A second tier of 13 metropolitan regions has urban populations ranging from 5 million to 10 million. A third tier with populations ranging from 1 to 5 million comprises 37 regions. While first- and second-tier metropolitan regions are concentrated along the coast, many of China’s medium and small size metropolitan regions are located inland. Note: This method has been developed by Chreod. , E. Leman and R. Zhang (2009), “Urban Trends and Policies in China”, OECD Regional Development Working Paper, 2009/1, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Therefore another approach based on functional definitions is adopted to derive a more accurate estimate of: ii/a) functional “urban” zones, comparable to “cities” in OECD member countries; and ii/b) functional metropolitan regions. At a higher scale, the Greater Pearl River Delta could be considered as a ii/c functional urban system or urban cluster. OECD TERRITORIAL REVIEWS: GUANGDONG, CHINA © OECD 2010 _it E d it io e R O To take into account the differences and establish meaningful comparisons among regions belonging to the same type and level, the OECD has established a definition of rural which is applied at the “local level”.

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