China's economic growth is largely predicated on urbanization and the modernizing role of the state in developing cities. Since the 1908s China has experienced urban change at an unprecedented scale and scope—by 2050 there will be more than 210 cities in China with more than one million residents.
Urban transformation in China constitutes both a domestic revolution and a world-historical event, because it represents the largest construction project in the planet's history. In two decades 85% of China's total population will live in cities. This represents the largest internal migration process in world history, and a nearly exact reversal of the 1978 population distribution at the dawn of the post-Mao era.