Urban System Planning of Guangdong Province started to be compiled in 2001. In 2007, it was submitted to the State Council for examination after the review and approval of Guangdong Provincial Government. In April 2012, it was approved by the State Council and was implemented officially. Up to now, this Planning is the only guiding document of Guangdong province for its overall planning of urban and rural construction which was approved by the State Council.
The Planning adopts the double orientation method of problem and goal to determine target strategies and paths of urbanization in the province. It uses the thought of implementing national planning in the longitudinal direction while linking and coordinating provincial planning in the horizontal direction so as to integrate and form “the new developmental pattern of regional coordination and marine-land linkage” and “the clustered, ecotypic and networked space pattern of cities and towns” and to guide the whole province to realize the goal of intensive and efficient production space, livable and moderate living space and the picturesque ecological space.
Now, urbanization level of Guangdong Province has entered the quality-oriented development stage. Based on that situation, the Planning sets forth the urbanization target strategy of “pushing forward new-type urbanization, creating new-type cities and promoting transformation and upgrading”. It will build the urban spatial structure of “one main urban zone, three assistant cities, six axes and six cores” and the main ecological pattern of “two rings and one corridor” (including the northern Guangdong ecological barrier, the annular ecological barrier around Pearl River Delta and the coastal ribbon-typed ecological corridor) based on the subjective patterns of metropolitan areas and town clusters. The Planning also puts forward a differentiated urbanization strategy for the Pearl River Delta, West and East Guangdong and the Northern mountain areas and the hierarchical regional-coordinated development strategy (areas in the province, Guangdong-Hongkong-Macau, Pan-Pearl River Delta) and the space management idea of building “three zones and one corridor” (including the urban construction and development zone, the regional green zone, the rural development zone, the regional traffic lanes and the corridor of municipal facilities) so as to promote the provincial and urban joint administration of space resources. It also formulates seven recent action plans, which include “strengthening the agglomeration effect”, “boosting external connection”, “building livable cities and villages”, “perfecting the comprehensive transport system”, “constructing new towns”, “building new socialist countryside” and “forming urban and rural space information platforms”.