The World Bank is to launch a joint study with Beijing on urbanisation in China, one of the great human migrations of modern times, it said Friday.
Chinese cities have expanded rapidly in number and scale over the last 30 years, with more than half of its population of 1.35 billion people now considered urban dwellers -- and the number still rising by 14 million a year.
The study aims to help "... not only China but all developing countries deal with the continuing massive influx of people into cities," bank president Jim Yong Kim told reporters in Beijing.
Urbanisation drove growth and raised living standards, he said, but also brought "tremendous challenges to the environment, food security as well as the delivery of health care and education services".
Kim, on his first trip to China as the institution's chief, said several times he was "very impressed" by the accomplishments of the world's second-biggest economy.
But he added that it was important to remember China was still a developing country, with 100 million people living in absolute poverty.