Farmer Wang Mei, 87, grows food in a plot in front of a giant relocation housing project in southwestern China's Chengdu city.

Her neigbours were all moved from their farmland and resettled nearby in this purpose-built estate on the outskirt of the city.

She, however, has not been given an apartment because she was a distant migrant without legal permit to live there. She bemoans this and said she wished the government would take her land and give her an apartment instead.

A demolition worker breaks down old houses to reclaim building material. Traditional farm houses are destroyed on the outskirts of Beijing to make way for a new phase of urbanisation.

A 50-year-old farmer weeps in front of his ancestral home on the outskirts of Zhengzhou city. The house is destroyed by the Chinese government to make way for modern high-rise.

Li Rui, 60, scavenges for building materials in his former village -- now bulldozed into a giant construction site in Liaocheng city in northeastern China.

Li was a farmer until three years ago, when the local government announced it would raze down his village and turn farmland into an urban development zone.

Li said he and other villagers were involuntarily moved to another village. This year Li expects to be resettled into one of the high-rises behind the row of commercial residential buildings in the back of this picture, where former villagers are being relocated en masse.

Young estate agents, who are children of farmers, wait for clients in front of commercial residential blocks built over farmland in Hebei province in northern China.

Their families have lost their farmland, and now they are peddling apartment blocks to buyers.

A couple, who were farmers until their farms were destroyed by the government two years ago, returns to the place where their village once stood in Hebei province in northern China. They will move into one of the apartments, dubbed "replacement home".

Each block is named after the village that they replace. Former neighbors once again live next to each other.

A former farmer plays with her granddaughter in a "replacement housing block" in Hebei province, just outside Beijing, built for people like her who has lost their farmland to a new phase of state-driven urbanisation. Because of the speed of the construction roll-out across China, they follow mostly the same blueprint.

A former farmer walks in a "replacement housing block" in Hebei province, just outside Beijing, built for people like him who has lost their farmland to a new phase of state-driven urbanisation. Because of the speed of the construction roll-out across China, here the grass has not even tuned green before residents are moved in.

Each block is named after the village that they replace. Former neighbors once again live next to each other.

A former farmer entertains his dog in a "replacement housing block" on the outskirts of Beijing, built for people like him who has lost their farmland to a new phase of state-driven urbanisation.

Behaviors are changing fast. In a new area south of Beijing, I met a group of chain-smoking former farmers in their 50s sitting around a communal picnic table admiring a well-groomed dog. Its canine cousins living in farms are usually less lucky, chained to the front door as a guard dogs or served in a hot pot.

Former subsistence farmers plant flowers in a park built over their farmland in front of Global Center -- the world's biggest shopping mall as of 2017 -- in southwestern China's Chengdu city.

These women each earn around 1,000 yuan per month landscaping the city, an improvement over subsistence farming.

The local government is razing villages and farmland on the outskirts of the city to make way for urban development.

Workers -- themselves farmers made landless a few years earlier -- build a housing block to compensate farmers for their lost land in Hebei province in northern China.

A housing block is built by the government to compensate farmers for their lost land in northern China.

Former farmers play cards in southern China in her newly furnished apartment given by the government in return for seized land on the outskirts of southern China's Changsha city.

Former farmers enjoy beers at a bar built in their relocation housing estate in southern China's Changsha city. Their village homes and farmland has been razed by the communist government.

An overview of a flagship low-income housing in Chongqing city, one of the major clusters where China is pushing ahead with its history-making plan to move rural residents into towns and cities.

Newly resettled farmers are mixed with migrant workers and students in this project in one of the fastest-growing and biggest cities on earth, with a population of 29 million.

Instead of farmers and farmland, you see a compound of 100,000 people living with heating, running water, wifi, and modern amenities.

Moving farmers to urban areas is touted as a way of changing China’s economic structure, with growth based on domestic demand for products instead of exporting them. In theory, new urbanites mean vast new opportunities for construction firms, public transportation, utilities and appliance makers, and a break from the cycle of farmers consuming only what they produce.