Author Archives: Sebastien Goulard

About Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

Second homes in Hainan (I): reducing dependency.

As noted in a previous post, the second home phenomenon in China is quite different from the one in Western countries. Most of them are not exactly holiday homes, but are bought for other purposes. On exception may be Hainan: the southern island is presented as a major tourist destination and so the island has attracted thousands of Mainlanders who wish to spend a few weeks per year under the sun. But second home acquisitions in Hainan are also motivated by speculation. Per consequence, this phenomenon needs be carefully scrutinized by local authorities, and more actions should be taken to reduce the local dependency to the real estate sector.

In the past, in the early years of reforms, Hainan was doomed by real estate speculation and this partly caused the economic turmoil the island experienced in the late 90’s.

Since then, the island has been recovering thanks to the development of tourism.  With tourism and the rising of Chinese middle-class, second homes have appeared in Hainan. According to Wang Xiaoxiaà in in 2006, 25,000 second homes could be found Haikou1.

In 2010 was launched an ambitious plan to transform Hainan into an international destination by 2020. This decision boosted the housing sector on the island, but for fear of overheating, the local government limited the number of acquisitions one may purchased in Hainan. In spite of these measures, the island experienced a strong increase of real estate prices, and Sanya, Hainan’s main resort city, has become the 5th most expensive Chinese city.

For the local authorities, real estate and construction have gradually become their main financial resources. For the first semester 2014, more than one third of the provincial GDP was produced by real estate, this figure reached nearly three-fourths in Sanya2.

This causes the whole economy of Hainan to be very dependent on real estate.  And the bad news is that real estate in Hainan is very volatile and speculative. Most real estate programmes do not answer local housing demands but target wealthy Mainlanders, and since the beginning of this year, sales have started to drop.

This should drive the local government of Hainan to reconsider its strategy and diversify the island’s economic activities.

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I have studied this aspect of the development of tourism in Hainan in my Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Les politiques de développement regional d’une zone périphérique chinoise, le cas de la province de Hainan (Regional development policies in a Chinese peripheral region: the case of Hainan province). This dissertation was defended on December, 18, 2014, and will soon be available online.

  1. WANG Xiaoxiao (2006), The second home phenomenon in Haikou, Master thesis, University of Waterloo, Canada. Retreived December 20, 2015 from http://etd.uwaterloo.ca/etd/x42wang2006.pdf []
  2. DOI, Noriyuki (2014), ‘Chinese housing prices still sliding’, Nikkei Asian review, August, 24. Retreived September 20, 2014 from http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Chinese-housing-prices-still-sliding []

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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UrbaChina final conference, Paris: research findings

The UrbaChina final conference was held in Paris on January 15-16, at the Palais de Chaillot.

During this event, UrbaChina consortium members presented their findings and final recommendations on the research project. This was the occasion for holding productive discussions among participants on topics related to sustainable urbanisation in China, such as the rural-urban integration, the hukou system, the definition (or lack of definition) of the concept of ecocity, the consequences of the tax sharing system on local development, etc.

Several presentations were dedicated to case studies on the four cities examined by the UrbaChina consortium (Shanghai, Chongqing, Kunming and Huangshan).

All the ppt presentations will be accessible soon.

Paris

Members of the stakeholder committee: Dwight Perkins, Françoise Ged (Cité de l’Architecture), Meng Jianjun (Tsinghua University), Michel Prouzet (Barreau de Paris), Yuan Zhigang (Fudan University), Bernard Yvetot (Orange) made some constructive remarks and emphasized the importance of the multidisciplinary approach to the studies of urbanization in China.

We’d like to thank Françoise Ged for having opened the doors of this institution to our guests. ((La Cite du Patrimoine et de l’Architecture, is opened to the public, and we strongly encourage you to visit this place when in Paris).

We’d like also to thank the staff of the CECMC (The research center on modern and contemporary China ) for the smooth running of this event.

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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UrbaChina Newsletter 2015-02 (January)

  The UrbaChina Newsletter 2015-02 (January) is now published. To subscribe to our newsletter please contact us at urbachina-edition@services.cnrs.fr

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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Nested maps

Nested maps: reality representation as a first action against easement process

Marlène Leroux is preparing a Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Densifying rural territories: China, from massive growth patterns to more sustainable urban planning” under the supervision of Prof. I Devanthéry-Lamunière (EPFL) and Prof. J.C. Bolay (Unesco Chair, CODEV)

The author’s doctoral research is primarily focused on analysing the issue of rural urbanisation as a key sustainable development challenge based on the conviction that rural areas today must be studied on their own account and no longer simply understood as the counterpart to urban areas1.

In China, vast rural areas are currently undergoing “modernisation” via the application of a generic, expansive urban model. This modernisation is evidenced in the creation of new towns and road infrastructures a process that simultaneously homogenises the complex reality of both rural practices and regional characteristics, flying in the face of natural resource availability and significant climatic and cultural disparities2. This forced coexistence of urban models conceived ex-nihilo (top-down) and the reality of a rural area (bottom-up) generates interactions and major tensions, too.

This post will draw on one of our case studies: the modernisation currently under way on Chengdu Plain. This area is a major agricultural production centre that functions with a mixed traditional rural system and industrial activity, supported by a dense fabric of rural villages(linban) spread across the territory. The region is currently undergoing transformation and urbanisation on a massive scale a process that has been amplified by the need for reconstruction following the devastating earthquake of May 2008 (7.8 on the Richter scale). This is a region that has experienced major human and material losses; its modernisation and reconstruction are a response to economic, social and political challenges.

Analysis of the “nested” maps allows us to observe the reality of a region at a given time and different scales. The first sample represents a region with a diameter of 500 km around the area of study i.e. a surface area of 200,000 km2 (20 m ha). This allows us to locate our case study on the national scale (proximity to major urban hubs, industrial centres, major communication routes, etc.) and also in terms of major landscape features (coastal areas, mountain chains, major rivers, etc.). It should be noted that 250 km is the distance that can be travelled in all day’s journey; in our view the impact of elements beyond this distance is no longer related to their geographic proximity.

Leroux_illustration

The 100 km sample, i.e. a radius of 50 km around the area of study, allows analysis at a more local scale, situating the study zone within its more immediate context. Yet on this scale it is the network of waterways connected with the irrigation system that comes to the fore. The Min river, which has its source at the end of the Himalayas chain, divides into channels which fan out across the whole of the plain. From the original riverbed, the river is divided to obtain a fine network of irrigation channels. Thanks to the central Chinese subtropical climate (humidity, heat) a wide variety of crops can be grown and cropping frequency is high. The soil, which has always been fertile, is constantly enriched by sediments carried in the river water. This exceptional irrigation system gives the region its distinctive identity and has defined the way the area has developed for hundreds of years.

Finally, the 2 km sample covers the micro-local context, on a scale appropriate to walking and “soft” mobility. This scale permits precise observations of relations between the built environment, farms, fields and forests, allowing us to begin the process of identifying and classifying the elements that constitute the reality of the Chinese rural condition.

The first step would be to consider these emerging areas in a more positive light and to look for ways of optimising them, ways of integrating the existing infrastructures with new development projects. This means engaging with the reality of the rural areas concerneda reality located somewhere between [idealised] memories of a sophisticated rural idyll and megacity fantasies. Just as we inventorise our built heritage (listing, classifying and grading historic monuments) or even disused railway sites3), every element of the landscape, every rural infrastructure, every local custom should first of all be identified, catalogued and documented and then (as the second phase of the process) be given a value. These gradings would correspond to specific rules and procedures to be observed. The aim is not to depict a rural landscape that is frozen in time but to create a series of diagnostic tools and frameworks for action. Having been recorded and valued in this way, the topography, the water system, the paths, walls, the waste disposal sites greenhouses, vegetable gardens, could be preserved, reused or destroyed but at any rate they have been taken into account. The design decisions resulting from this process are then taken in view of the facts and not as a consequence of deliberate, convenient oversight.

This process of classifying rural territories, following a methodology as sophisticated as that used for urban areas, should be carried out using appropriate representational methods. The tools for this diagnostic process have yet to be devised, yet the process of innovation is already underway4. Only once these diagnostic tools are in place will it be possible to establish strategies for developing urban scenarios that are sustainable, realistic and practicable, via the creation of new planning tools5. These planning tools would need to be able to take national aspirations and ambitions into account while at the same time optimising local resources. The futures of urban areas and rural areas are inescapably intertwined. Prospective analysis of the globalisation phenomenon from the perspective of rural areas is crucial here: these rural areas may contain within themselves the potential to shape new identities, enabling China to generate a new, integrated model of regional intervention that will be absolutely vital in the long term6.

  1. Woods, M. (2010), Rural, Andover, Taylor& Francis []
  2. Friedman, J. (2005), China’s Urban Transition, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press []
  3. Devanthéry-Lamunière, I. (2008 []
  4. Vigano, P. (2012), Les territoires de l’urbanisame, Genève, Métispresse []
  5. Mostafavi, M., Doherty, G. (2010), Ecological urbanism, Baden, Lars Muller Publishers []
  6. Hassenflug, D.  (2010), The urban code of China, Bâle, Birkhauser []

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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UrbaChina Policy briefs now available

 

We are pleased to announce that several policy briefs are now available.

In these documents, UrbaChina partners present their findings and results related to topics on sustainable urbanisation trends in China, they also formulate several recommendations  to accelerate transition toward sustainability.

  • Gipouloux, F., Du, D., NI, P., Daniels, P. W., LI, S., Huang, L., Elosua, M., Goulard, S., Ai, C. (Eds) (2014) Institutional foundations and policies for urbanisation policy brief, UrbaChina Project, D.2.2, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Huadong Shifan Daxue (East  China Normal University) ( HUADA), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institute of Finance and Trade Economics, Beijing (CASS), University of Birmingham/Services and Enterprises Research Unit (SERU), Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC), Sun Yat-sen University, October 2014, Paris.
  • Hussain, A., Liu, W., Gong, W., Dunford, M., Zong, H. (Eds) (2014)  Policy brief on territorial expansion & accommodating a greater population, UrbaChina Project, D.3.2, Asia Research Centre, London School of Economics and Politcal Science (LSE), Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), December 2014, Paris.
  • Bina, O., Balula, L., Ricci, A., Ma, Z. and Hart, C. (Eds.) (2014) Trends, Implications and Policy Support Mechanisms, UrbaChina Policy Brief Background Document, Instituto de Ciências Sociais (ICS-ULisboa), Institute of Studies for the Integration of Systems (ISIS) and Renmin University (RENDA), November 2014, Rome.
  • Feuchtwang, S., Howell, J., Krieg, R., Luo, P., Morais, P., Wang, X., Zhang H. (Eds) (2014) Urban development, traditions and modern lifestyles policy brief, UrbaChina Project, D.5.2, London School of Economics (LSE), City University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Renmin Daxue (RenDa), Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden), Chinese National Museum of Ethnology, University College of London, Barlett (UCL), December 2014, Paris.

 

 

 

 

 

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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UrbaChina Newsletter 2015-01 (January)

 

The UrbaChina Newsletter 2015-01 (January) is now published. To subscribe to our newsletter please contact us at urbachina-edition@services.cnrs.fr

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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UrbaChina final conference, Paris, January 15-16

Trocadero We are glad to announce that the UrbaChina final conference will be held in Paris, January 15-16.

During this event which will gather every UrbaChina parter, the research programme’s results and achievements will be made public.

We invite every person interested in the issues of sustainability and China’s urbanisation to attend this meeting. However due to  room capacity, we would appreciate you first register by sending a message to

urbachina-edition@services.cnrs.fr.

This event will be co-host by the “Cité de l’Architecture” and will be held at the prestigious “Palais de Chaillot”.

The conference programme is available here.

Partners of this event include:

European Union

 

 

 

CNRS

Cite architecture

ehess

 

 

 

 

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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UrbaChina Newsletter 2014-52 (December)

 

The UrbaChina Newsletter 2014-52 (December) is now published. To subscribe to our newsletter please contact us at urbachina-edition@services.cnrs.fr

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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“Urban communities and social sustainability”

On Decemberf 19, a UrbaChina workshop was held in Paris. Dring this event, Prof. Feuchtwang pressented us hios team’s finding on the subject of “urban communities and social sustainability”.

His ppt presentation is available here:

wp5 decembre 19.

 

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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UrbaChina Newsletter 2014-51 (December)

 

The UrbaChina Newsletter 2014-51 (December) is now published. To subscribe to our newsletter please contact us at urbachina-edition@services.cnrs.fr

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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Prof Chan’s proposal on hukou reforms.

Here, at UrbaChina, we have already presented Prof. Kam Wing Chan’s proposals on possible Hukou reforms.

On December 17, the Wall Street Journal1 interviewed Prof Chan (University of Washington) on the reasons why hukou system needs to be liberalized.

the-paulson-institute-logo

 

Prof Chan’s full report on Hukou reforms can be dowloaded at the Paulson Institute.

  1. China’s closed cities threaten population goals, report says. Wall Street Journal, December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from http://www.wsj.com/articles/BL-CJB-25307 []

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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UrbaChina Newsletter 2014-50 (December)

 

The UrbaChina Newsletter 2014-50 (December) is now published. To subscribe to our newsletter please contact us at urbachina-edition@services.cnrs.fr

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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No more begging in Beijing’s subway

Last month, Beijing’s municipality has decided to ban begging in the subway. This regulation will come into effect in May 2015.

Beijing subway beggars face fine of up to 1,000 yuan (2014). China Daily November, 28). Retrieved December 14 from  http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-11/28/content_18995305.htm.

The regulation ruled out 17 dangerous acts that would undermine subway security, including entering the rail or the tunnel, and placing or abandoning barriers along the rail line.

In a subway station or train, people will not be allowed to beg, perform for money or dispense advertising pamphlets. The regulation also disallowed walking in the opposite direction of a moving escalator, running for fun, skateboarding, roller-skating or cycling.

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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First Horizon 2020 forum

horizon2020On December 16, the first Horizon 2020 Forum will be held at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. This event will be dedicated to Horizon 2020, the new reasearch programme funded by the European Union.

Prof. Gipouloux, coordinator of the UrbaChina consortium, will  be one of the guest speakers.

More information  (in French) can be found here.

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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UrbaChina Newsletter 2014-49 (December)

 

The UrbaChina Newsletter 2014-49 (December) is now published. To subscribe to our newsletter please contact us at urbachina-edition@services.cnrs.fr

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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