Economics of Planning Policies in China: Infrastructure, Location and Cities, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Economics of Planning Policies in China

Infrastructure, Location and Cities, 1st Edition

By Wen-jie Wu


228 pages | 51 B/W Illus.

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Fast urbanizing countries like China have experienced rapid – albeit geographically uneven – local and regional economic growth during the past few decades. Notwithstanding this development pattern, China has been investing heavily in targeted coastal and inland regions through planning policies for infrastructure, location and cities. This is a largely place-based investment process that is of great importance for the public, business and policymakers. China’s urban and regional transformations provide incentives for spatial agglomeration and will shift the growth of activities within and across cities for decades to come. This spatial differentiation is likely to be driven by government decisions at all levels about where, when and in what to invest, in an institutional context where policy instruments act to constrain or facilitate China’s urban and regional development.

Economics of Planning Policies in China looks at the role that the institutional characteristics of the Chinese planning system and market mechanisms play in transforming and shaping the infrastructure, location and cities with the potential for spatial disparity and inclusive growth. The planning and geographical perspective and evidence make this book a reference for international scholars, policymakers and graduates


‘Economics of Planning Policies in China analyses the evolution of the planning system, and how urban and regional planning policies intervene and interact with patterns of cities, locational layout and transport infrastructure in China. Understanding these planning implications is a prerequisite for informing policymakers about how to improve urban agglomerations and vibrancy, build regeneration policies to declining areas, and coordinate spatial development in the long run.’ — Professor Wenzhong Zhang, Deputy Director of Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Chinese Academy of Sciences

The success of a modern economy is fundamentally about the success of its cities, and the success of cities depends on their internal organisation and the infrastructure that connects them. This research book provides fascinating insights into the way that spatial planning in transport infrastructure and land use and its interaction with the market has helped shape the geography of development in China over recent decades. The book not only contains a wealth of information about the policy background in China, but delivers a wide range of lessons that are useful for anyone studying the role of planning in economic development and the evolution of cities globally.’ — Professor Stephen Gibbons, Director of Spatial Economics Research Center, London School of Economics and Political Science

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables

Foreword I by Professor Paul Cheshire

Foreword II by Professor Siqi Zheng


PART I Overview

1 Introduction

2 Fundamentals of China’s planning policies

PART II Spatial evolution of planning policies in China

3 Planning for spatial development in the post-war era

4 Planning for transformation: spatial economic prosperity and disparity

5 Planning for urban and regional agglomeration

PART III Planning implications: infrastructure, location and cities

6 Dynamics of urban networks: evidence from airport infrastructure expansion

7 Geographical evolution of railway network development

8 Market reform, land development and urban vibrancy

PART IV Conclusions

9 Concluding remarks


About the Author

Wen-jie Wu is an Associate Professor at Heriot-Watt University, UK.

About the Series

Regions and Cities

In today’s globalised, knowledge-driven and networked world, regions and cities have assumed heightened significance as the interconnected nodes of economic, social and cultural production, and as sites of new modes of economic governance and policy experimentation. This book series brings together incisive and critically engaged international and interdisciplinary research on this resurgence of regions and cities, and should be of interest to geographers, economists, sociologists, political scientists and cultural scholars, as well as to policy-makers involved in regional and urban development.

If you would like to discuss a potential new book for the series, please contact:

Joan Fitzgerald – – Series Editor-in-Chief, or

Natalie Tomlinson – – Routledge Commissioning Editor

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Business Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Macroeconomics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Urban & Regional
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / International / Economics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Transportation
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development