chapter  15
19 Pages

Planning for chengzhongcun in Guangzhou and Shenzhen: redevelopment in the Chinese context


While these studies have addressed the function of urban villages, very little attention has been given to planning and related issues or to their implications

for urban development and impacts on urban residents. Urban planning, in many cases, is highlighted as a background issue in discussions of urban villages. Chung ( 2009 ), however, has made an initial effort to investigate the planning system of urban villages. Through his investigation of the planning, administration and fi nancing of urban village redevelopments in Shenzhen city, he shows how government authorities are seeking to institutionalise a ‘space of disorder’ into the governance system. Indeed, in a country where city planning is considered a form of central regulation (Xie and Costa 1993 ), an investigation of the planning system and practices should bring to light the government’s intention for redevelopment and its underlying logic. In particular, in the context of China’s economic reform and power decentralisation, an investigation of the local planning system enables a better understanding on how central power is translated into local power. This localization process implies that reasons for planning and redevelopment are apparently not the same across time and space. Although the role of local government in planning has received a lot of scholarly attention, the way that local agendas differ across various geographical contexts remains poorly discussed. By comparing the planning for redevelopment in Shenzhen and Guangzhou cities, this chapter explores the two cities’ particular way of handling redevelopment, examines the underlying reasons for such differences and discusses the effectiveness of each approach. Through an investigation of these issues, this chapter attempts to explore redevelopment plans in the context of China’s government-led and land-based economy. Information on Shenzhen’s planning system is based on Chung ( 2009 ), while information on Guangzhou is drawn from government documents, news reports and interviews of planners and stakeholders.