International Development Planning Review

Manufacturing-led peri-urbanisation in central China: the case of Wuhan’s Dongxihu District

International Development Planning Review (2018), 40, (2), 175–202.

Abstract

This article addresses a gap in the literature; a lack of research on peri-urbanisation in central China. China’s ‘factory of the world’ is gradually, but perceptively, moving from the coastal region to the central region. In the central region, the manufacturing economy is dominantly found in peri-urban areas, replicating the coastal pattern. Based on a case study of Wuhan’s Dongxihu District, the authors probe characteristics of manufacturing-led central region peri-urbanisation, concluding that current central region peri-urbanisation more closely resembles first phase coastal peri-urbanisation than the more diversified leisure and consumer-oriented peri-urbanisation, such as Disneylands and second homes, emerging in coastal areas. Interior peri-urban areas are closer to their core cities. Accordingly, residential spillover effects from the core city compete for peri-land. Domestic firms are prevalent, given the lower costs of start-up and operations. Shorter distance, more hinterland-oriented migration means less cultural diversity in central region peri-urban regions relative to the coast.

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