China’s Urbanization – Challenges and Opportunities

By Dr. Jonathan Woetzel

Friday, May 22, 2015 - 11:45 to 14:00

By 2030, over a billion people will live in China’s cities by requiring construction on a scale never before seen. This gives China a unique opportunity to create and develop its cities in a way that supports economic growth, preserves the environment, delivers the highest possible quality of life for its citizens, and results in a stream of valuable new technologies. These developments will not just affect China but will also have profound implications for the rest of the 21st century world.
The question is not only how big, but how tall can China’s cities get. China’s urbanization is already well-advanced with over 600 million people living in 800 cities spread across the country in a relatively dispersed pattern. Looking forward, a tidal wave of urban migration on the order of 15 to 20 million long-term residents a year will continue to surge into Chinese cities as a result of increasing perceptions of urban opportunity, as well as the slow and steady move towards larger-scale, more capital-intensive farming. At this rate, China will continue to build out its cities over the next 20 years and the country as a whole will achieve a 70% urbanization rate by 2030. China could continue to add an annual 1,500-plus buildings that are more than 30 floors tall, equivalent to a new Chicago every year, resulting in more than 950 cities by 2030.

China’s challenges in terms of environment, energy, sustainability, infrastructure, transportation, social services and city administration are enormous. So are the opportunities for technology providers and consultants.

About the speaker:
Dr. Jonathan Woetzel is a Director of McKinsey and Company, a co-founder of the Firm's China office, and has led McKinsey's China Corporate Finance, and Asia Energy and Materials practices.

Based in Shanghai since 1996, Dr. Jonathan Woetzel is also a Director of the McKinsey Global Institute, McKinsey’s business and economics research arm. Dr. Woetzel leads McKinsey’s Cities Special Initiative and is responsible for convening the firm's work with city, regional, and national authorities in more than 40 geographies around the world on issues such as energy, sustainability, and economic development. In China, he has conducted more than 60 projects for local governments to support economic development and transformation and has advised on energy investment strategies and energy productivity and transparency. Dr. Woetzel is an advisor to the Joint US-China Coalition for Clean Energy.

In the private sector Jonathan Woetzel works on topics related to corporate strategy, operations, and organization and has served clients in industries such as energy, metals and mining, healthcare, telecommunications, and transportation. He is a co-chair of the non-profit think tank Urban China Initiative—a joint venture led by Columbia University, Tsinghua University, and McKinsey & Company—that aims to develop and implement solutions to China’s urbanization challenge. He lectures at the Guanghua School of Business, the China-Europe International Business School, and is also an honorary lecturer at Jiaotong University’s Antai Business School.

Published widely in both Chinese and international publications, Jonathan Woetzel has written four books on China, including Capitalist China: Strategies for a Revolutionized Economy (Wiley & Sons, 2003). He co-authored, with Jimmy Hexter, the book Operation China: From Strategy to Execution (Harvard Business Press, 2007) and The 1 Hour China Book with Jeffrey Towson, 2013. Jonathan Woetzel is a U.S. citizen and proficient in Mandarin, Spanish, and German.

China’s next chapter: The infrastructure and environmental challenge,” McKinsey Quarterly, June 2013

Last day for registration is May 18th 2015. Please note that the auditorium at CBS Warehouse/Råvarebygningen RS 20 has only 100 seats. Copenhagen Business Confucius Institute shall confirm your participation on May 19th 2015.

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The page was last edited by: Department of International Economics and Management // 10/08/2019