Third World Planning Review

The changing role of land-use planning in the land-development process in Chinese cities: the case of Guangzhou

Third World Planning Review (2001), 23, (3), 229–248.

Abstract

The introduction of administrative and economic reforms in China has led to the use of market mechanisms in allocating urban land resources. This situation has resulted in a diversified land-development process in Chinese cities. Governments and planners then come under pressure to review the development policies and planning instruments in order to guide effectively the new land-development process. However, for various reasons, land-use planners in China face many difficulties in development control. First, the role of the professional planner is challenged by the government's interference in the land market and in planning affairs. Second, poorly-institutionalised planning administration undermines the role of development-control mechanisms. Furthermore, because laws and regulations are not fully respected, the development control process may be used as a vehicle by those in power to achieve their own aims. How far is this the case in practice? The paper addresses this issue using the example of Guangzhou, and argues that the Chinese planning system and land market need to be reformed, and legal concepts strengthened.

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Xu, Jiang