Chinese eco-cities: a perspective of land-speculation-oriented local entrepreneurialism

Chien, Shiuh-Shen. (2013) Chinese eco-cities: a perspective of land-speculation-oriented local entrepreneurialism. China information, 27, pp 173-196.

 Abstract

This article aims to critically review the recent phenomenon of eco-cities in China which has captured the attention of the city authorities since the 2000s. At the time of writing, more than 200 eco-city projects have been proposed, are under construction, or have even been partly or fully implemented. Many of these eco-cities are not retro-fitted development plans in the downtown areas but are new large-scale land development projects on the outskirts of municipalities. The impetus behind the current Chinese ‘new-town-style’ eco-cities can be viewed as the third round of post-Mao land development isomorphism. The first – development zones – took place in the 1980s, and the second – college towns – started from the late 1990s. In the post-Mao context, Chinese local entrepreneurialism, which is characterized by (1) inter-scalar strategies to formally and informally pursue projects and (2) novel discourses that seek to legitimize projects, is actually motivated by land finance. Therefore, Chinese eco-cities driven by land-speculation-oriented local entrepreneurialism are very likely to be yet another manifestation of spatial development fervour, which contributes to further local extra-budgetary revenue and generates social conflict as opposed to sustainable development.

Read full text on Sage Journals online (restricted access)

 

 

Monique Abud

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

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