Although “specialty town” is a rather new concept that only emerged in recent years, a lot are popping up across China to boost the growth of various local industries.
Based in China's eastern city of Hangzhou, Dream Town is a specialty town designed to foster start-ups. Here, incubators and maker spaces stand alongside the occasional dorm, supermarket and café, making the town feels like a gigantic co-working space.
Drawing on local resources such as Zhejiang University and Internet giant Alibaba, the town has become home to almost 14,000 entrepreneurs working at nearly 1,500 startups. The companies housed here have received a total funding of over 1.6 billion US dollars.
Across the country, a town for jewelry is glittering in China's tropical Southwest. Zhubao Town - literally “Jewelry Town” in Chinese - is located in Dehong Prefecture, Yunnan Province, a region with a long history of jewelry craftsmanship.
With the region's rich and diverse ethnic culture, the town also attracts tourists by presenting arts and staging performances unique to the local area, making tourism a pillar business for both the town itself and the wider area.
Experts believe the concept of a specialty town is an important innovation in China's urbanization, but at the same time, some warn against blind development as specification is a risky economic move.