Tag Archives: “Urban policies”

Uxcester Garden City project

David Rudlin of URBED was the winner of the Wolfson Economics Prize 2014, announced in September 2014, with the Uxcester Garden City project:

Vision:  We illustrate how the city of Uxcester could double its size by adding three substantial urban extensions each housing around 50,000 people. These lie within a zone 10km from the city centre and are configured as triangles with only the point touching the edge of the settlement. The farmland around the city is currently not accessible to the public and of little ecological value. The concept is that for every hectare of development another will be given back to the city as accessible public space, forests, lakes country parks etc… Each of these satellite extensions would be served by a tram or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) running from the existing mainline station on disused lines and then switching to on-street running to loop through the new neighbourhoods. The housing would be developed incrementally to create space for small developers and self-builders alongside the volume housebuilders in a process that recreates the way that the great estates were built in London.   

Popularity: Extending an existing city solves some problems but creates others. The greatest of these will be the task of winning over the existing community, which is likely to be articulate and honed by years of experience resisting development. We suggest a ‘Social Contract’ that would address the concerns of this community. Rather than a future spent fighting years of ill-planned development, the Garden City would offer the prospect of a clear 40 year vision that accommodates development while minimising its impact. The satellite extensions are planned to minimise their visual impact, to create a green grid of accessible open space and to generate investment in new transport infrastructure and city centre facilities to benefit the whole of the community. The aim is to re-frame the argument by getting cities to bid to be designated as a Garden City as they currently bid for City of Culture. 

Economic Viability and Governance:  In the absence of large scale subsidy the only solution to the economics of the Garden City is what Ebenezer Howard called the ‘unearned increment’. We are proposing a deal for landowners in which they trade a small chance of securing a housing consent on their land, for a guarantee of receiving existing use value plus substantial compensation and a financial stake in the Garden City Trust. We have assumed that the land will be brought at an average cost of £350,000 per hectare, 20 times its current agricultural value but only 15% of its value as housing land. The economics of the scheme are based on these differentials. We have assumed that, by extending an existing town rather than building from scratch we can reduce the infrastructure bill from £80,000 to £60,000 per unit. Even assuming that half of the land acquired is used as open space, this still generates sufficient value to fund this level of infrastructure spending. By selling the sites to developers at a fixed price and providing the infrastructure collectively, a market incentive will be created to invest in the quality of the housing.   

The process would be managed by the Garden City Trust that would be owned jointly by the local councils, central government, the local community and land owners – and their stakes would have a tradable capital value. The Garden City Trust would be vested with the land, would commission masterplanning work and then use the equity of the land to raise a Bond to fund the initial investment in infrastructure. Development would take place on a rolling programme with the early land receipts being reinvested. The experience in Holland suggests that such a rolling programme can procure infrastructure investment three times greater that the value of the initial bond.    

We describe the seven ages of the Garden City Trust from its conception and birth through its infancy and adolescence to maturity, middle age and eventually retirement. Over time the role of the trust will evolve as it moves from the development stage to the management phase where it will be structured to enable the local community to take on the stewardship of their neighbourhoods. Rising values over the life of the project will allow initial investments to be repaid. This is not a new model, it is the modern day equivalent of the great estates like Grosvenor or The Bournville Village Trust. 

Our model addresses the weaknesses in the system that have made it so difficult to match the quality of the schemes we admire on the continent. We have debated as a team whether we are being too ambitious with the size of the settlement we are proposing. However nationally we need to increase housing production by the equivalent of one Milton Keynes every year. We therefore need bold strokes to radically increase the rate at which we are building and Uxcester provides a model to do just this. 

For more information on URBED and the submission, click here: http://www.urbed.coop/wolfson-economic-prize

Miguel Elosua

Spanish qualified lawyer; PhD in Chinese Law. UrbaChina Research Officer. Has lived in China since 2006.

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Urban spatial restructuring, event-led development and scalar politics

Hyun Bang Shin (2014) Urban spatial restructuring, event-led development and scalar politics. Urban Studies, November 2014 vol. 51 no. 14. DOI:10.1177/0042098013515031.

This paper uses Guangzhou’s experience of hosting the 2010 Asian Games to illustrate Guangzhou’s engagement with scalar politics. This includes concurrent processes of intra-regional restructuring to position Guangzhou as a central city in south China and a ‘negotiated scale-jump’ to connect with the world under conditions negotiated in part with the overarching strong central state, testing the limit of Guangzhou’s geopolitical expansion. Guangzhou’s attempts were aided further by using the Asian Games as a vehicle for addressing condensed urban spatial restructuring to enhance its own production/accumulation capacities, and for facilitating urban redevelopment projects to achieve a ‘global’ appearance and exploit the city’s real estate development potential. Guangzhou’s experience of hosting the Games provides important lessons for expanding our understanding of how regional cities may pursue their development goals under the strong central state and how event-led development contributes to this.

Read full text article (restricted access)

Author’s personal website: http://urbancommune.net/

Miguel Elosua

Spanish qualified lawyer; PhD in Chinese Law. UrbaChina Research Officer. Has lived in China since 2006.

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城市规划原理 (Principles of urban planning)

4th edition of the volume edited by a team of professors from the Tongji University, with Li Dehua (李德华) as chief editor. Published by Zhongguo jianzhu gongye chubanshe (中国建筑工业出版社) in 2010.

PUP

《高校城市规划专业指导委员会规划推荐教材:城市规划原理(第4版)》系统地阐述了城乡规划的基本原理、规划设计的原则和方法,以及规划设计的经济问题。主要内容分22章叙述,包括城市与城市化、城市规划思想发展、城市规划体制、城市规划的价值观、生态与环境、经济与产业、人口与社会、历史与文化、技术与信息、城市规划的类型与编制内容、城市用地分类及其适用性评价、城乡区域规划、总体规划、控制性详细规划、城市交通与道路系统、城市生态与环境规划、城市工程系统规划、城乡住区规划、城市设计、城市遗产保护与城市复兴、城市开发规划、城市规划管理。

Miguel Elosua

Spanish qualified lawyer; PhD in Chinese Law. UrbaChina Research Officer. Has lived in China since 2006.

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Arrival city: how the largest migration in history is reshaping our world

Arrival City: How the Largest Migration in History is Reshaping Our World. Book written by Doug Saunders, and published by Knopf Canada (September 21, 2010).

Arrival city

What will be remembered about our century, more than anything except perhaps changes to the climate, is the final shift of human populations from agricultural life to cities, the effects of which are being felt around the world. Arrival City gives us an on-the-ground view of this phenomenon—from Maryland to Shenzhen, from thefavelas of Rio to the shanty towns of Mumbai, from Los Angeles to Nairobi.

Doug Saunders introduces us to the migrants themselves, and with the aid of their stories elucidates their essential part in the economic fabric. He makes clear that the cities and nations that provide citizenship and opportunity to migrants stand to benefit as the migrant class evolves into a middle class, and he explains why those that ignore these people will see increased social unrest, poverty, and religious fundamentalism.

 

 

 

Miguel Elosua

Spanish qualified lawyer; PhD in Chinese Law. UrbaChina Research Officer. Has lived in China since 2006.

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Urbachina’s WP5 workshop at LSE

LSE2

Stephan Feuchwang, leader of Urbachina’s work package 5 “Urban development, traditions and modern lifestyles” organised a workshop at the London School of Economics and Political Science on 25 and 26 September. During the workshop, the researchers from this team (Zhang Hui, Luo Pan, Wang Xiaoxia, Jude Howell, Paula Morais, and Renate Krieg) shared their findings for discussion and comparison not only with each other, but also with our two scientific advisers who have vast research experience in urban life and planning in China, Dan Abramson and David Bray, and with a number of others who have conducted research on urban life and governance in China and other parts of the world, including Europe.

The task of this work package on ‘urban development, traditions and modern lifestyles’ has been to investigate how new municipal institutions interact with residents, who bring to their urban relocation ways of organising themselves and improvise new ones. The focal topics were urban government, self-government and social sustainability.

Field research was conducted between March 2012 and April 2014 in the four cities selected by the UrbaChina consortium: the two large cities of Shanghai and Chongqing, and the two medium sized cities of Kunming and Huangshan. It is the most extensive systematic research on urban communities, as well as the most recent to date. One of the main results has been the deconstruction of the very conception of community, as a policy concept and an instrument of governance.

Miguel Elosua

Spanish qualified lawyer; PhD in Chinese Law. UrbaChina Research Officer. Has lived in China since 2006.

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Media coverage of UrbaChina’s 4th International Conference

CTV News reported on the development of the conference interviewing, among others, UrbaChina’s coordinator François Gipouloux, and LSE professor Athar Hussain.

Captura de pantalla 2014-06-11 a las 11.51.23

Please click on the following link to watch the report:

http://tv.people.com.cn/n/2014/0528/c150716-25077655.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miguel Elosua

Spanish qualified lawyer; PhD in Chinese Law. UrbaChina Research Officer. Has lived in China since 2006.

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Call for papers: Graduate Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies

Submissions are invited from graduate students for a special issue of the Graduate Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies (GJAPS): Urban Futures in the Asia-Pacific (Simon Opit, editor, University of Auckland, New Zealand).

Cities are centres of economic, social, political and cultural activity, but they can also be areas of intense poverty, unhealthy environments, dangerous spaces and captivity. With the current unprecedented rates of growth in the Asia-Pacific unlikely to abate it is of great importance that we maximise the potential of urban spaces while avoiding the multitudinous harm that cities can cause. The Graduate Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies is calling for papers that provide perspectives on the possible future of urban spaces in the Asia-Pacific.

Such a theme is open to both quantitative and qualitative perspectives on urban spaces and encourages artistic, empirical or theoretical contributions that relate to, but are not limited to any of the following major themes:

  • Examining urban policies that are argued to promote sustainable urbanism and create more resilient, liveable urban spaces.
  • Assessing the potential of future technologies and/or transport initiatives that offer solutions to urban problems.
  • Investigating layers of urban governance structures and how they impact on urban environments and their development, either as a constructive or restrictive force.
  • Analysing our understandings of urban spaces and providing critical review of the current values that underpin urban practices.
  • Detailing and evaluating methodological innovation in the field of urban studies, including new tools and technologies that provide novel ideas and a better of understandings of our urban world.

Contributions are welcome from all fields, including: social sciences and the humanities, architecture and planning, politics and policy analysis, or any other form of urban study.GJAPS interprets the designation “Asia-Pacific” in the broadest sense, to encompass East, Northeast and Southeast Asia, the Malay Archipelago, Australasia, Polynesia and Oceania, the West Coast of the Americas, including California, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, British Columbia, Central and South America.Submissions should be received by 1st of April 2014.

More info here

GJAPS website

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Street vendors: poor and indesirable in the city

Solinger, Dorothy J. (2013). Streets as suspect: State skepticism and the current losers in urban China. Critical Asian Studies. 45(1) pp.3-26

Abstract

The Chinese Communist Party has been suspicious of people engaged in commercial activity on the streets ever since it took over the country in 1949, but the reasons for this have shifted in a paradoxical way over the decades. In the years when Mao Zedong ruled the nation according to his understandings and beliefs about socialist values and for several years after his death the suspicion in the main concerned the capitalist practices that business entails – profit making, inequalities, price-consciousness, class differentiation. Except for a few short intervals, doing non-state trade or providing private services was banned. In the first few decades after 1980, marketing outside was treated more leniently, although fees and licenses were still required in order to avoid harassment, and peasant migrants faced challenges. But once millions of people were laid off after 1995, the Party hoped to enable them to make a living, and also to prevent them from protesting, so it gave them special leeway to work outside from stalls and even directly on the pavement. After the mid 2000s, however, the indigent – the majority of whom were probably once members of the ideologically sacrosanct proletariat – have, ironically (in light of the values of the past) been discouraged from appearing on city streets to make money. Thus now that capitalist activity is common, the impoverished are considered to damage the city appearance, so that instead of capitalism being banned, it is the interests just of large-scale moneymakers that are to be served.

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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The commodity circulation system in rural areas: a new method for urban development in China

In the process of urbanisation in China, most resources have been invested in cities, creating a scarcity of resources in rural areas. As a result, there is an ever widening gap between urban and rural economic levels.  Rural areas, agriculture, and farmers are three important issues that influence urban development in China.  These three issues are known as San nong wenti [三农问题]. The Chinese government stressed the importance of these matters in the “11th Five-Year Plan”.  From 2005, in order to help farmers sell their produce and to increase liquidities in rural areas, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China successively proposed three plans to promote sales of produce. These policies are the following: Wan cun qian xiang shichang gongcheng [万村千乡市场工程; The Plan Connecting Ten Thousand Rural and City Markets], Shuang bai shichang gongcheng [双百市场工程; The Double 100 Market Plan], and Nong chao duijie [农超对接; The Plan Connecting Farmers and Businesses]

The Plan Connecting Ten Thousand Rural and City Markets” is a plan implemented in 2005. The main objective is to establish a link between agricultural markets in cities and rural areas and to advance the development of remote areas. Using government subsidies, an agricultural commodities network was established. This network extends from cities to rural areas, and is designed to encourage agricultural development and satisfy the needs of the farmers. In contrast, The Double 100 Market Plan” is a plan devised in 2006 to reform 100 large-scale agricultural wholesale markets and foster 100 large-scale businesses involved in the circulation of produce, in order to improve the rate of produce sales, as well as to encourage tighter links between cities and countryside through the circulation of produce. Finally, The Plan Connecting Farmers and Businesses” is a plan implemented in 2006. This plan promotes cooperation between farmers and businesses. With the help of the government, farmers can sign agreements with business operators to supply produce directly to supermarkets. In this way, a platform for the commercial transaction of produce has been set up to upgrade the agricultural industry.

Traditional market in Kunming, Gipouloux François

However, many problems remain in implementing these rural circulation systems. According to Guo Guoqing and Qian Minghui1, one of the main problems in the circulation of rural commodities is the regulatory issue. Because a mechanism regarding the regulation of commodities has not been established, fake and shoddy goods may enter rural areas.  This is detrimental not only to the development of the rural area, but also to the farmers’ quality of life. In addition, despite the government’s effort to set up the rural circulation system, many towns have not cooperated with the urban development plan. Therefore, the circulation paths for produce are often scattered and interrupted. A survey assessing the farmers’ preferences for the distribution of their produce indicated that 42.86% of the farmers preferred to sell their products to specific merchants and 35.71% of the farmers tended to transfer and sell their products independently. However, only 7.4% of the farmers chose to sell their products through the agreement with business operators. The results indicate that the circulation method for farmers’ produce has stalled. The farmers sell their produce independently and simply expect customers. No specialized circulation system or agricultural marketing network has been established or developed.

The establishment of the rural circulation system has, however, improved the circulation of population between the city and rural areas. The system can also assist urban development. The rural circulation system may be a solution that will help to resolve the serious problem of San nong wenti. However, at the present stage, the rural circulation system is immature, as we have seen. Therefore, to solve the problems it encounters, the Chinese government must continue to seek solutions.

  1. Guo Guoqing 郭国庆, Qian Minghui 钱明辉, « Woguo nongcun shangpin liutong de wenti yu duice 我国农村商品流通的问题与对策», Guojia xingzheng xueyuan xuebao 国家行政学院学报, 2007, Vol. 5, pp 18-28. []

Chi-Han Ai

Ph.D. candidate of EHESS ( École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris) focusing on regional economic development in China and Taiwan.

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