ChinaUrban-Ongoing project

Rethinking China’s Model of Urban Governance

ERC Advanced Grant (No. 832845) 

Project summary

China’s phenomenal urbanisation is of world-historical significance. It first challenges our understanding of contemporary urbanisation, urban transformations, and the model of urban governance. Second, an appropriate understanding of changing urban governance is critical for the implementation of a UN-endorsed new urban agenda in the post-pandemic world. The project helps to recommend how China should change its development model and how the outside world should help China to address its immense challenges from urbanisation. The overall objective is to rethink China’s model of urban governance. The central concern is the role of the state: whether the introduction of market coordination has transformed the political processes as shown in Western democratic societies. This project contextualises Chinese urban governance in its historical and endogenous processes. The role of the state in neighbourhoods, cities and regions is understood in the policy contexts. We see governance change as a concrete institutional and policy response to existing crises and perceived challenges. This project interrogates China’s model of urban governance through grounded and multi-scalar investigations ranging from neighbourhoods and cities to regions.

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This research project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 832845). It is based in China Planning Research Group at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL.