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The dynamics of urban growth in three Chinese cities

Dublin Core


The dynamics of urban growth in three Chinese cities


, croissance urbaine, dynamiques urbaines, économie, politique urbaine, développement urbain, Chine, China, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Yusuf Shahid, Wu Weiping


Abstract from the publisher :
The theme of this book is the interplay of geography, size, and industrial structure in determining the industrial vigor of cities. At any point in time, a city's economic prospects are determined by location, historical traditions, and momentum derived from past development and the available production base, which is composed of infrastructure, physical facilities, human capital, and administrative capabilities. These givens define an initial menu of possibilities, but no city is bound by them. The set of options can be enlarged, comparative advantage can be reshaped, and development paths can be redirected by suitable action, which takes history as a point of departure, but then uses policy to augment the resource base, exploit locational benefits, solve systemic ills, and improve the functioning of the city as a dynamic organism. This book explores the experience of three Chinese cities -Shanghai, Tianjin, and Guangzhou- and abundantly illustrates that turning each of these factors or givens to the city's benefit requires sound policymaking. Unless initiatives are taken to exploit inherited capabilities and to approach comparative advantage in a dynamic framework, a strong production base can start to decay, pulling the city into a vicious, downward spiral.

This book is divided into 7 chapters. Chapter 2 provides the historical backdrop to economic geography in the three cities extending from early in this century to the eve of reform. It also describes the course of urban and industrial development in China and situates the three cities within the national context. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 explore the salient features of development in Shanghai, Tianjin, and Guangzhou, respectively, relating the efforts of each city to enhance its industrial strength through the effective deployment of reforms. Chapter 6 compares the experiences of the three cities and their strategies, relates these to restructuring efforts in other metropolitan areas of the world, and looks at the forces driving urban change in China. Finally, Chapter 7 reviews the main messages emerging from the juxtaposition of theory and experience in the context of the three cities, and examines their future strategic choices regarding reform and the directions of sectoral development.
Shahid Yusuf is Economic Adviser, Development Economics Research Group at the World Bank.
Weiping Wu is a Professor in the programmes of Urban Studies and Planning and International Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.


Shahid Yusuf Weiping Wu


The World Bank


August 1997