International Development Planning Review

Understanding the structure and complexity of regional greenway governance in China

International Development Planning Review (2022), 44, (2), 241–264.


Regional greenway implementation requires a complex governance structure to deal with regional-local, cross-jurisdictional and cross-sectoral relations. This paper explores how these three intergovernmental relations are shaped by different governance structures and how they influence regional greenway implementation outcomes. An analytical framework was proposed considering four structural factors (size, specialisation, order and anarchy) and China’s inherited tiao (vertical)-kuai (horizontal) system of authority. By analysing a case-study project with evolving governance structures over time, the paper reveals that a more powerful, sectorally specialised, autonomous and inclusive local coordination office is ideal to foster institutional linkages within administrative jurisdiction, between adjacent governments and across government hierarchy. These links are essential for efficient and integrated greenway implementation in city-regions.

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