"Spatial strategy, planning and state governance in China"

  • CHUNG, Him (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This research will investigate a new form of state governance in China and its implication on the country’s central-local relationships. Unlike conventional discussions which concentrate on fiscal matters, personnel arrangement and institutional frameworks, this study seeks to examine how spaces – spatial planning and land – have been used for central regulation. Regional development strategies have been used as a tool to distribute resources and balance local powers since the first Five Year Plan. During the pre-reform period, it was a powerful technique as the central state was the only channel for resources. Economic reform since 1978 has increased new channels for resources and hence decreased the effectiveness of those strategies. In addition to the growing of local discretion and the formation of a fragmented governance landscape as a result of power decentralization, the need to develop a new spatial strategy is raised. In 2009, the introduction of eight regional plans by the State Council is a respond to such need. Focusing on the current practice of regional and urban planning in the Pearl River Delta, this research will investigate the central state’s new spatial strategy and its associated techniques. Specifically, this research investigates the Guangzhou-Foshan integration plan. It seeks: (a) to examine the governing reasons that lying behind the spatial strategy; (b) to investigate the relationships between regional planning and urban planning in the pursuit of spatial strategy; and (c) to examine the role of land in the process. It is expected that the spatial perspective will provide new understandings on China’s state governance and central-local relationships, an arena which has been dominated by political scientists.
Effective start/end date1/11/1130/04/14


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