Iris Belle:

From Economic Zone to Eco-city?

Urban Governance and Urban Development Trends in Tianjin' s Coastal Area

Ed.: Hans Gebhardt

2015. 1. edition, XIII, 203 pages, 40 figures, 14 tables, 17x24cm, 690 g
Language: English

(Urbanization of the Earth, Volume 13)

ISBN 978-3-443-37016-9, bound, price: 44.80 €

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BibTeX file


city planningeconomic zonechinaurban developmentmegacityurban geography


Synopsis top ↑

Chinese megacities are among the fastest growing urban areas in the word. This is specifically true for the rapidly developing regions on China’s Eastern Coast. The greater metropolitan regions surrounding Shanghai, Guangzhou and Tianjin have undergone dramatic changes. Once primarily industry based economic areas, they have today transitioned into integrated towns where, hundreds of thousands of Chinese people live.

This volume offers detailed insights into urban-industrial development of the Tianjin region. The author introduces the constellations of actors framing and negotiating urban visions and playing their role in the decision-making of the planning and implementation processes. The fascinating and contradictory urbanization processes of two development areas in Tianjin’s coastal region, the Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area (TEDA), and the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city, are documented and analyzed using a wide range of information sources including locally published texts, planning studies and interviews.

A Mandarin speaker with experience as a practicing architect in China, the author presents a unique portrait of the complex inner workings of urban governance in China. Shared reflections from concerned stakeholders and the conclusions drawn are of interest not only to architects, developers, and urban planning officials, they are accessible to anybody seeking insights into power geometries in China.

Inhaltsbeschreibung top ↑

Von allen Megastädten der Welt wachsen die chinesischen am schnellsten. Dies trifft besonders auf die Gebiete an der chinesischen Westküste zu. Die größeren Metropolen um Shanghai, Guangzhou und Tianjin, haben tiefgreifende Änderungen erfahren. Einst waren sie in erster Linie industriell geprägte Wirtschaftsräume, heutzutage leben dort Hunderttausende Chinesen. Dieser Band bietet Einblick in die Stadt- und Industrie-Entwicklung der Tianjin-Region. Der Autor stellt die Interaktion zwischen den Akteuren vor, die städtische Visionen gestalten und verhandeln und ihre Rollen bei den Entscheidungsprozessen in Planung und Umsetzung spielen. Die faszinierenden und teilweise widersprüchlichen Urbanisierungsprozesse zweier Küstengbiete in Tianjin - Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area (TEDA) und die Eco-City Sino-Singapore in Tianjin - werden dokumentiert und analysiert unter Hinzuziehung vieler Informationsquellen, wie z.B. lokale Veröffentlichungen, Planstudien und Interviews. Der Autor spricht Mandarin und arbeitet als Architekt in China. Er stellt hier ein einzigartiges Portrait der komplexen Prozesse der Stadtentwicklung in China vor. Gemeinsame Überlegungen der Interessengruppen und deren Schlussfolgerungen sind nicht nur für Archtiekten, Entwickler, Stadtplaner von Interesse, sondern für alle, die Einblick in die China's Machtstruktur erhalten möchte.

Table of Contents top ↑

From the Editor V
Credits VI
Preface VII
Content IX
Figures XI
Tables XII
Textboxes XII
Abbreviations XIII

1 Introduction: China’s economic development zones and eco-cities 1
2 Researching drivers of urban development 7
2.1 Economic and sustainable development 7
2.1.1 Economic and sustainable development and the concept of the 8
entrepreneurial city
2.1.2 Sustainable development 17
2.2 Entrepreneurial urban governance 20
2.2.1 Definition of governance 21
2.2.2 The actor-based institutional approach to governance 23
2.2.3 Good governance 28
2.3 Collecting and structuring information and opinions 28
2.3.1 Research design 30
2.3.2 Open-ended in-depth expert interviews 30
2.3.3 Techniques and strategies for analysing data 34
3 Decision-making and urban space creation at TEDA and Tianjin
Eco-city 36

3.1 Formulating project visions 37
3.1.1 TEDA’s vision 38
3.1.2 Tianjin Eco-city’s vision 38
3.1.3 Opinions about the visions 39
3.2 Constellation of main actors 41
3.2.1 Constellation of main actors at TEDA 42
3.2.2 Constellation of main actors in the Tianjin Eco-city project 49
3.2.3 Comparing the constellations of main actors 53
3.3 Location Choice 54
3.3.1 Location choice and national development strategy 54
3.3.2 Political and economic importance: TBNA as China’s third 56
growth pole
3.3.3 A challenging environment for test-bedding eco-technologies 58
3.3.4 Land ownership status 59
3.3.5 Comparing the location decisions 60
3.4 Urban planning decisions 62
3.4.1 China’s legal system of urban planning 64
3.4.2 Planning TEDA: formation and growth of a new town 65
3.4.3 Planning Tianjin Eco-city 76
3.4.4 Opinions about the planning process 83
3.5 Land and real estate development 93
3.5.1 Actor constellations in land and real estate development 94
3.5.2 Leasing out land for development 95
3.6 Commissioning design, engineering and construction 101
3.6.1 Commissioning a design 101
3.6.2 Preparing for and executing the construction 106
3.7 Governance episodes and urban sustainability 107
4 Analysis of governance mechanisms 110
4.1 Hierarchies 111
4.1.1 Hierarchy of Chinese state bureaucracy 112
4.1.2 Hierarchies among State-owned Enterprises 118
4.1.3 Effects and limits of hierarchies 121
4.2 Networks 122
4.2.1 Bilateral relations between states 122
4.2.2 Private relationships 126
4.2.3 The Communist Party of China 129
4.2.4 Joint ventures and networks of businesses 132
4.2.5 Other types of cooperation: contractors and collaborations 138
4.2.6 Effects and limits of networks 138
4.3 Markets 140
4.3.1 Land and real estate markets 140
4.3.2 Infrastructure and urban space solutions 147
4.3.3 New market niches: creating demand for new products 148
4.3.4 The economic capital flow model of TEDA and Tianjin Eco-city 150
4.3.5 Effects and limits of the market 153
5 Evaluation of the governance systems at TEDA and Tianjin Eco-city 157
5.1 Legitimacy and Voice 157
5.2 Strategic vision 160
5.3 Performance 162
5.4 Accountability 165
5.5 Fairness 166
5.6 Rule of Law 167
5.7 Potentials and conflicts of the governance system 168
6 Concluding remarks 170
7 Epilogue 178
8 Appendix 180
9 Bibliography 189
10 Index 195

Short description top ↑

The author offers detailed insights into urban-industrial development of the Tianjin region and a unique portrait of the complex inner workings of urban governance in China. This volume is of interest to architects, developers, urban planning officials and to anybody seeking insights into power geometries in China.