Governing Cities for Growth: Land politics, financial mechanisms, and state entrepreneurialism in China

Y. Song

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

148 Downloads (Pure)


During the course of the 21st century, China has experienced one of the fastest urban growth processes in history. Its rapid urban growth has not only contributed to its industrial and technological development but it has also functioned as a key driver of its national economic growth. As well as bringing many benefits, China’s rapid urban growth has also brought a number of serious risks and challenges. In addition to its social impacts, such as increasing income gaps, urban and rural inequality and conflicts, urban growth has also posed severe environmental challenges such as the loss of open land, and the increasing burdens of water and air pollution. Moreover, the financial risks of urban development have become increasingly apparent, as witnessed by the very recent misfortunes of some of China’s property giants such as Evergrande, and the continuing difficulties faced by several local governments in dealing with severe financial debts. Although China’s rapid urban growth has accompanied its economic growth, the situation is becoming more and more unsustainable. In response, the Chinese government has proposed several policy frameworks and development strategies over recent years, such as ‘Ecological Civilisation’ and ‘Newtype Urbanisation’, in order to increase emphasis on sustainability and ecological protection in urban development. To achieve such an urban sustainable transition from a quantityoriented to a quality-oriented approach, ‘Governance Modernisation’ has now been given central stage as one of the newest state narratives after the modernisation of technology and industry. The goal of this thesis is to uncover the kind of changes that have taken place in urban governance during the Chinese government’s attempts to realise its sustainable transition in urban growth....
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Stead, D., Supervisor
  • de Jong, W.M., Supervisor
Award date17 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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