Place Branding in Megacity Regions in China: coping with ambiguous national environmental policies

Haiyan Lu

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

131 Downloads (Pure)


In the past four decades, China has experienced unprecedented rates of urban growth. This remarkable urbanization has also created challenges for China’s environment. To protect the environment, the Chinese national government has issued several policies while still maintaining high economic growth, such as Scientific Approach to Development in 2003 and Ecological Civilization in 2007. Furthermore, ecological principles, such as intensive, smart, green, and low-carbon, were further confirmed in the urbanization process in the National New Urbanization Plan in 2014 (State Council, 2014). However, the policy scopes are broad, and goals are also ambiguous in the corresponding policy documents. Facing devastating environmental problems, Chinese regions and cities respond by trying to attract economic activity with higher economic value and lower environmental cost. The proliferation of environmental concerns in place brands reveals influence from national government. These place identities and labels should go beyond mere intentions. The regional and municipal governments have an obligation to promote sustainable development initiatives listed in their policy plans. In the process of urban expansion, new towns are archetypes of urban projects to flesh out these sustainable development initiatives in China. This dissertation studies regional and city branding in China from two angles, i.e., place branding and the intergovernmental context. First, place branding process focuses on the development stages of regional and city brands, which uncovers brand identities and labels in planning documents, as well as city images created around urban projects. Second, the intergovernmental context further addresses the interactions among different levels of governments in the decision-making regarding brand identities and labels, as well as private actors in urban projects...
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • De Jong, Martin, Supervisor
  • ten Heuvelhof, E.F., Supervisor
Award date5 Dec 2018
Print ISBNs978-94-6366-108-9
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Place Branding in Megacity Regions in China: coping with ambiguous national environmental policies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this