Flying into Guangzhou with Questions

As the plane approaches Guangzhou airport, I could see more and more urban villages coming into sight. The scale of the issue is clear. From one picture, there are already countless number of urban villages across the visible land. Their features are unmissable – individually developed plots, handshake buildings, same construction techniques using concrete and bricks… And mixed with these are rural features that still survive – vernacular house typology (three rooms and two corridors), water pond in front of every village, houses arranged perpendicular to the water…

From this picture it is obvious that this urban village phenomenon has spread into areas where there is predominantly farm lands. In this case, however, can we still consider this to be an urban problem? Is there then a boundary to the urban? How do we define what is urban and what is rural? If the two terms can only be defined in contrast to each other, how do we then understand the term ‘urban village’?