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Educational Sustainability Qinmo Village is located in the North-West of Guangdong Province. With an estimated population of 1800, villagers lead a predominantly subsistence life growing rice and keeping pigs and chickens. Signs of the migrant back-flow economy take the form of new build houses with ornate balconies and tiling patterns that often are built proudly higher than the surrounding village context. The project is aimed at the long-term sustainable development of the village through a series of projects that introduce education and changes in methods of agricultural production to attempt to gradually shift the village away from a position of reliance towards economic self–sufficiency. A key part of this is to offer young people viable alternatives to factory work and the economic draws of the city. The strategy is evolving and one that operates through a network of stakeholders including the University of Hong Kong, private donors, charities and the local government bureaus of education and construction.
Ruralism China’s economic reformation has completely re-structured the relationship between the countryside and the city. This has produced the creation of hundreds of new cities at unprecedented speeds and the amalgamation of urban hinterlands into vast regional sprawls; fundamentally altering the functioning, and economic and social structures of rural villages. The Central Government’s plan to urbanise some 350 million farmers is an ongoing process that has already brought millions out of subsistence living, reducing rural poverty through urban employment, with the number of rural laborers employed in non-agricultural activities rising from 9.2 million in 1980 to 151.6 million in 2000. Nowhere is this transformation most profound than in Southern China in Guangdong Province which, since the formation of Shenzhen’s Special Economic Zone and input of foreign investment through Hong Kong, has become China’s test bed for the socialist market economy.