Jeremy L. Wallace (2014), Cities and stability. Urbanization, redistribution, and regime Survival in China, Oxford university press1.
Urban, Planning and Transport Research. Vol. 1, n° 1, 2013-…ISSN : 2165-0020. URL : http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rupt20/current#.VFuXK2fehyF
Urban, Planning & Transport Research is a fully Open Access journal offering rapid publication and wide dissemination of new research to a global audience. It publishes peer-reviewed contributions in all areas of urban, planning and transport research.
Urban Planning Goes Rural: Conceptualising the “New Village”. Paper written by David Bray (2013), China Perspectives, 2013/3, p. 53-62.
A major goal of the national program to Build a New Socialist Countryside is to modernise and urbanise the rural built environment. This objective has been bolstered by the extension of state-sponsored urban planning regimes into rural jurisdictions. One of the implications of this is that every administrative village in China is now required to commission and implement a 20-year “master plan” for redevelopment. Through tracing the origins and rationale of key policy initiatives, in the first part of this paper I aim to show how urban planning came to be seen as an appropriate tool for solving a range of intractable rural “problems.” In the second part of the paper, I present a case study of village redevelopment in order to illustrate how the principles of urban planning have been applied to the re-making of rural built environments and the transformation of rural life.
Please, click here for more information (full text not available online): http://chinaperspectives.revues.org/6273
Curien, Rémi. (2014) Chinese urban planning : environmentalising a hyper-functionalist machine? China Perspectives [Online], 2014/3. Connection on 16 September 2014. URL : http://chinaperspectives.revues.org/6528.
How should the considerable discrepancy between the concepts of sustainable urban development proclaimed by the Chinese authorities and the reality on the ground be understood? This article examines the urban planning procedures that currently hold sway in China. The building of new cities is based upon a generic method of hyper-productivist and functionalist planning, reflected as a pyramid structure that extends over the whole country and is embodied by urban zoning on a vast scale. This procedure, which has been in force for nearly 30 years, is not at present one that is called into question by Chinese decision-makers, and does not take environmental principles seriously into account. Conversely, all of the reasoning upon which urban development is based remains very far removed from environmental considerations. China is continuing down the road of accelerated development behind the wheel of a growing hyper-functionalist urban machine.
This photo was taken during UrbaChina’s 4th International Conference, which was held in Chongqing from 28 to 30 May. Attendees paid a visit to the Chongqing Planning Exhibition Gallery. This giant scale model of the city of Chongqing, displays all existing and planned buildings up to 2020. After seeing the scale model and listening to the optimistic presentation, one of the attendees made a very sharp remark observing that such a scale model would be unimaginable in his country, France in this case. He was not talking about the technical difficulty of producing such a model, but to the number of legal questions that would make it virtually impossible to predict the future development of a city in such detail. This scale model not only includes new public spaces that require an expropriation procedure, but also new private developments, condominiums, office buildings, shopping malls, in locations where nowadays probably include only private properties (and collective land). In China, it means that the city agreed many years in advance to expropriate the area of land necessary to carry out this transformation. It means that the local government considers any activity related to urbanisation as able to answer the general interest. It also presupposes that the local government will manage to find the financial resources to undertake the gigantic construction work. Finally, had this been the scale model of a European city, it would also assume that nobody would oppose the urban plan, which is not unusual. Besides, the Courts sometimes decide in favour of the opponents, compelling city planners to modify the plan.
The East Asia Forum published an article on urbanisation in China. By Wang Xiaolu, published on 12 May 2014, accessed on 13 May 2014.
China is experiencing rapid urbanisation. It is the main engine of economic growth in contemporary China, although it is facing some severe challenges. A major problem is that the majority of the 234 million rural migrants in urban areas have not obtained urban permanent resident status, blocked by the hukou or urban household registration system. The newly released urbanisation blueprint by the Central Committee of the CPC and the State Council, National New-Type Urbanization Plan 2014-2020, announced the acceleration of the process of turning rural migrants into urban citizens.
Please read the full article here.
Interview with François Gipouloux (coordinator of the UrbaChina project) by Alessandra Rebecchini at GBtimes France, on 2 May 2014.
Francois Gipouloux, professor and researcher at the EHESS, teaches Asian-European comparative international economics.
Since 2011 Gipouloux has directed the European funded project UrbaChina, a collaborative project in which 11 Chinese and European research centres work towards sustainable urbanisation in China.
What strategies, what “advice” could Europe give China to be able to develop its cities and transport network? How can it integrate rural populations in these news cities?
UrbaChina is exploring different avenues.1
Listen to the podcast here (in French).
- Translation by Aurélia Martin. [↩]
The city of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China, won the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2014 for its demonstration of sound planning principles and good urban management.
The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is co-organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore and the Centre for Liveable Cities. It aims to honour cities which tackle urban challenges through good governance and innovation. The prize places an emphasis on practical and cost effective solutions and ideas in order to facilitate the sharing between cities accross the world of best practices in urban solutions and sustainable urban development.
Suzhou has undergone remarkable transformation over the past two decades. The significance of its transformation lies in the city’s success in meeting the multiple challenges of achieving economic growth in order to create jobs and a better standard of living for its people; balancing rapid urban growth with the need to protect its cultural and built heritage; and coping with a large influx of migrant workers while maintaining social stability.
For more information, see the web-page of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize.
Li, Yu (2014). Chinese city and regional planning systems. Farnham : Ashgate, 2014. 306 p. ISBN : 978-0-7546-7499-3
While the Chinese planning system is vitally important to the rapid development which has been taking place over the past three decades, this is the first text to provide a comprehensive examination and critical evaluation of this system. It sets the current system in historical context and explains the hierarchy of government departments responsible for planning and construction, the different types of plans produced and recent urban planning innovations which have been put into practice. Illustrated with boxed empirical case studies, it shows the problems faced by the planning system in facing the uncertainty in the market economy.
In all, it provides readers with a full understanding of a complex and powerful system which is very distinct from other planning systems around the world. As such, it is essential reading for all students interested in the current development taking place in China and, in addition, to planning students with a general interest in planning systems and theory.
- More information on Asgate website (with extracts from the book available to view)
Despite common national institutions and incentives to remake urban landscapes to anchor growth, generate land-lease revenues and display a capacious administration, Chinese urban governments exhibit varying levels of control over land. This article uses a paired comparison of Dalian and Harbin in China’s north-east to link differences in local political economies to land politics. Dalian, benefiting from early access to foreign capital, consolidated its control over urban territory through the designation of a development zone, which realigned local economic interests and introduced dual pressures for enterprises to restructure and relocate. Harbin, facing capital shortages, distributed urban territory to assuage the losers of reform and promote economic growth. The findings suggest that 1) growth strategies, and the territorial politics they produce, are products of the post-Mao urban hierarchy rather than of socialist legacies, and 2), perhaps surprisingly, local governments exercise the greatest control over urban land in cities that adopted market reforms earliest.
- Full text article available on Cambridge Journals Online [restricted access]
- Full text article available on Meg Rithmire’s webpage [free access]
This programme is accredited by Liverpool University in the UK but candidates will study in the city of Suzhou, China. The degree is also with recognition of the Ministry of Higher Education, P. R of China.
A generous entry scholarship of 50% of total tuition fee is offered, based on academic merit, for students enrolling in September 2014.
To be considered for the entry scholarship you should submit your application before 1st April 2014.
For more details, please see http://academic.xjtlu.edu.cn/upd/programmes (click on “Masters”)
For more information please contact:
Xie, Pengfei (2013) Striving towards ecocity: experience from Huainan, China. Sustainable cities collective (28 October, 2013). Retrieved from http://sustainablecitiescollective.com/nature-cities/190911/striving-towards-ecocity-experience-huainan-china, 22 november 2013.
China’s rapid urbanization in the last 30 years has brought about many problems. The country is now facing a huge challenge to balance economic development with environmental conservation and social stability. Sustainable development is in the spotlight: how can we build a better city that can provide a better life for its citizens?
The ecocity seems to be one of the solutions. Since the concept of “Eco-Civilization” was advocated by China’s central government in 2007, local governments have responded actively to the appeal. By 2011, 90% of Chinese cities at the prefecture-level and above had proposed ambitious goals to build eco-cities (XIE and ZHOU, 2010). However, in China and throughout the world, the ecocity is still in its preliminary stage, without a mature theoretical basis and systematic exemplary practices. Local governments in China are encouraged to learn by exploring sustainable development models through ecocity construction.
Different people hold different opinions on the concept of an ecocity. By now, there has been no globally recognized definition for an ecocity. In China, a representative definition is: an Ecocity is a composite human settlement system combining balanced socio-economic development with healthy ecological objectives to achieve the harmonious coexistence of man and nature.
Call for paper, AAG 2014: Urban Infrastructure Governance and Urban Growth
Urban infrastructure (e.g. electricity supply, water supply, transportation, communication, etc.) is at the very heart of economic and social development of a city. It provides the foundation for virtually all modern-day economic activity, constitutes a major economic sector in its own right, and contributes importantly to raising living standards and the quality of life. With the continuously expanding urban population and land use, governments are confronted with new challenges for planning & governance of urban infrastructure provision. Meanwhile, many cities, both in China and West, are trying to maintain continuous urban growth by providing more and better urban infrastructure. The majority of China’s cities, for example, are building industrial parks to attract internal and external investments.
The aim of this session is to encourage submissions that address any issues related with urban infrastructure planning & governance and the role it plays in urban growth in China and the West. Both theoretical and empirical research contributions are welcome.
Yin Yang, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rongxu Qiu，Department of Geography, University of Lethbridge. Email: email@example.com
October 7th, 2013: Call for papers.
October 23rd, 2013: You can benefit from a reduced registration fee if you register for the conference prior to Oct 23 (you can submit your abstract later).
November 19th, 2013: Abstract submission and expression of intent to session organizers.
November 22nd, 2013: Session finalization.
December 1st, 2013: Final abstract submission to AAG, via www.aag.org.
December 3rd, 2013: AAG registration deadline. Sessions submitted to AAG for approval.
April 8th -12th, 2014: AAG meeting, Tampa Bay, Florida, USA.
More infomamtion at the AAG annual meeting webpage
Berra, J.1 (2013) Urban China on screen: the sixth generation and the postsocialist cinematic city. Geography Compass. 7 (8) pp.588–596. DOI: 10.1111/gec3.12061
This article will consider the relationship between the city and the cinema with regard to the films of China’s ‘Sixth Generation’, a group of filmmakers who mostly graduated from the Beijing Film Academy in the late 1980s and proceeded to make films on the subject of their nation’s urban fabric. These are films which utilise city narrative to comment on social–economic change, but largely observe such conditions, rather than to take apolitical stance. To explore the urban representation of the Sixth Generation, this article will provide analysis of three works that depict life in top-tier or second-tier mainland China cities: Biandan, guniang/So Close to Paradise (1999), Suzhou he/Suzhou River (2000) and Xiari nuanyangyang/I Love Beijing (2001). The manner in which urban space is represented will be considered, alongside the social positioning of the characters, in order to address arguments made by scholars that these films focus on the plight of the individual rather than considering the wider implications of urban planning.
Read full article on Wiley online library (restricted access or purchase options)
- School of Liberal Arts, Nanjing University, China