Participatory processes in urban planning projects in China

Kern, Abigaïl-Laure1  and Bolay, Jean-Claude2 (2013). Participatory processes in urban planning projects in China: the example of Caoyang Village, Shanghai. In Silvia Hostettler and Eileen Hazboun (Ed.) Technologies for sustainable development : a way to reduce poverty? (pp.209-223). Springer International Publishing. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-00639-0_18

In order to provide the first elements of a participatory process initiated and led by Chinese authorities, this paper will look at the citizen’s involvement in an urban planning project in China and discuss possible avenues to sustain the process in a specific local context over the long-term. Since the end of the 1980s, most community participation projects in China have been implemented in rural environments. This participatory process was carried out in Shanghai’s historically and culturally symbolic Caoyang Workers’ Village, without the external influence of international bodies. Even if some constraints have emerged in the participation of citizens during the pre-project phase, this participatory process seems to have fostered local governance to make significant breakthroughs. It was also the opportunity to reflect upon the minimum conditions to ensure the sustainability of this type of practice in Chinese urban planning projects by adopting the vision of an adapted participatory process.
  1. Doctoral Program in Architecture and Science of the City, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
  2. Cooperation and Development Centre, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland


Monique Abud

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

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