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In the last 40 years, China has made significant achievements in economic development and in urbanization as well. During 1978–2013, China witnessed an average annual economic growth (9.8%) and grew into the second largest economy in the world. Along with the rapid economic growth, China experienced a fast urbanization process though it started with a very low urbanization level. Urban population increased from 170 million to 730 million, while the rate of urbanization increased from 17.9% to 53.7%. Through these dramatic transformations, the governments at all levels played an important role, altering their function from centralized planning and direct intervention to a market dominant infrastructure. China was a giant laboratory, where various economic, social, and cultural reforms and policies were implemented at many spatial scales (the nation, region, and city). At the city level, in addition to the national economic and social development planning, town and village planning, land-use planning, eco-environmental protection planning, and many other local planning policies coexisted. In general, urban and regional planning in China aimed at the growth expansion plans. However, during the past forty years, local governments often used planning as “a competition apparatus for growth”, and adjusted planning to target economic growth sought by governments. In this paper, we conduct a systematic review and analysis of urban and regional development in China over the past 40 years, assessing the impact and effectiveness of various urban and regional planning policies at three scales: the nation, region, and city. Based on the aforementioned analysis and assessment, we hope to shed light on how urban and regional planning in China can be restructured to suit changing needs, that is, stimulating sustainable economic growth rather than simple economic target, inspiring multifaceted social and cultural development instead of sole economic growth, transitioning to market oriented advisory planning from traditionally centralized planning, focusing on multiple-goal planning instead of single goal planning, and accelerating public participation and promoting shared consensus.
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The first step is to realize that all the key land areas receive policy guidance; the second step is to promote policy-making for sea area and airspace; the third step is to promote the transition of regional policy guidance from an introvert one into an extrovert one.
The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and the Tibet Autonomous Region.
The “1” stands for Pudong district; “3” represents three national-level development zones—Caohejing High Technology Park,Minhang Economic and Technological Development Zone, and Shanghai Songjiang Export Processing Zone; “9” refers to nine municipal-level industrial parks—Xinzhuang, Baoshan, Jiading, Kangqiao, Songjiang, Fengpu (Shanghai comprehensive industrial development zone), Jinshanzui, Qingpu, and Chongming.
The Yangtze River Delta’s City Cluster embraces Shanghai, Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province. With Shanghai being the center, it consists of several closely related cities which distribute in the landscape of national strategy “Three-horizontal and Two-longitudinal” for improvement of urbanization layouts and being the major developmental region within the strategy. The Shanghai-based Yangtze River Delta City Cluster, stretching across the provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang, consists of a number of closely related cities that occupy the key areas of the national urbanization pattern of the “Three-horizontal & Two-longitudinal”. It includes 26 cities: Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuxi, Changzhou, Suzhou, Nantong, Yancheng, Yahngzhou, Zhenjiang, Taizhou in Jiangsu province and Hangzhou, Ningbo, Jiaxing, Huzhou, Shaoxing, Jinhua, Zhoushan, Taizhou from Zhejiang province and Hefei, Wuhu, Ma’anshan, Tongling, Anqing, Chuzhou, Chizhou, Xuancheng from Anhui province. It covers an area of 211,700 square kilometers, nearly 2.2% of the country; produce GDP at 1.267 billion yuan in 2014, nearly 18.5% of the country and boasts a large population of 150 million people, nearly 11% of the country.
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- Four Decades of Urban and Regional Development and Planning in China
- Chapter 4