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postgraduate thesis: Institutional changes and land development in Chinese cities: a case study of Beijing, 1996-2008

TitleInstitutional changes and land development in Chinese cities: a case study of Beijing, 1996-2008
Authors
Issue Date2011
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Zhang, Y. A. [张玥明]. (2011). Institutional changes and land development in Chinese cities : a case study of Beijing, 1996-2008. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4775253
AbstractChinese cities have experienced dramatic growth and transformation since the initiation of economic reforms in 1978. One of the main characteristics of contemporary urban development in China has been the massive expansion of urban land, which has become one of the most important means to generate fiscal revenue and promote local economic growth. The existing literature on urban China has addressed issues such as China’s urbanization, changing urban land use and changing public finance. What is missing from the existing literature is the interrelationship among these three processes. The links between urban socioeconomic development and land use change remain poorly understood, and the discussion of the relationship between institutional changes and urban land development has been rather limited. This thesis takes a political economy perspective to investigate the relationship among institutional changes, urban land development and urban socio-economic changes in Chinese cities, using Beijing as a case. The main argument made in this study is that urban land development has worked as an important medium to channel the effects of institutional changes toward shaping the pattern of urban economic and social development. During the period of 1996 -2008, Beijing experienced large-scale urban expansion. The area of agricultural land and unused land dropped by 1.1% and 2.9% respectively while the land used for construction increased by 5.6%, and the urban built-up area in 2008 was 2.75 times of the area in 1996. My research has found that the peak of Beijing’s urban land development occurred in the period of 2001 to 2004 when both the growth of urban construction land and the transaction volume of land conveyance reached their climax. Much of the newly increased construction land was converted from agriculture for industrial use. Over space, urban land development in Beijing was concentrated in the northwestern and eastern regions. My detailed analysis of the sources and dynamics of urban land development in Beijing has identified profound institutional changes made in the central-municipal fiscal relations as the most important driving forces responsible for the temporal, structural, and spatial characteristics of land development demonstrated in Beijing. My further assessment of the effects of urban land development in Beijing has revealed a mixed picture of improved economic efficiency and persistent social and spatial disparity. The efficiency of Beijing’s economic growth has improved significantly when compared with its past and with other cities in the region. However, the internal variations in urban socioeconomic development in the Beijing city-region has been worsen. By establishing the relationship among the three elements, namely urban land development, institutional changes and urban socio-economic development, this research challenges the conventional wisdom that sees land development as simply the passive outcome of economic growth and suggests that land should better be seen as the “medium” to connect and materialize the effects of changes in the political and institutional arena upon urban social and economic transformation.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectLand use, Urban - China - Beijing.
Local finance - China - Beijing.
Urbanization - China - Beijing.
Dept/ProgramGeography

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorZhang, Yueming, Amy.-
dc.contributor.author张玥明.-
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.identifier.citationZhang, Y. A. [张玥明]. (2011). Institutional changes and land development in Chinese cities : a case study of Beijing, 1996-2008. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4775253-
dc.description.abstractChinese cities have experienced dramatic growth and transformation since the initiation of economic reforms in 1978. One of the main characteristics of contemporary urban development in China has been the massive expansion of urban land, which has become one of the most important means to generate fiscal revenue and promote local economic growth. The existing literature on urban China has addressed issues such as China’s urbanization, changing urban land use and changing public finance. What is missing from the existing literature is the interrelationship among these three processes. The links between urban socioeconomic development and land use change remain poorly understood, and the discussion of the relationship between institutional changes and urban land development has been rather limited. This thesis takes a political economy perspective to investigate the relationship among institutional changes, urban land development and urban socio-economic changes in Chinese cities, using Beijing as a case. The main argument made in this study is that urban land development has worked as an important medium to channel the effects of institutional changes toward shaping the pattern of urban economic and social development. During the period of 1996 -2008, Beijing experienced large-scale urban expansion. The area of agricultural land and unused land dropped by 1.1% and 2.9% respectively while the land used for construction increased by 5.6%, and the urban built-up area in 2008 was 2.75 times of the area in 1996. My research has found that the peak of Beijing’s urban land development occurred in the period of 2001 to 2004 when both the growth of urban construction land and the transaction volume of land conveyance reached their climax. Much of the newly increased construction land was converted from agriculture for industrial use. Over space, urban land development in Beijing was concentrated in the northwestern and eastern regions. My detailed analysis of the sources and dynamics of urban land development in Beijing has identified profound institutional changes made in the central-municipal fiscal relations as the most important driving forces responsible for the temporal, structural, and spatial characteristics of land development demonstrated in Beijing. My further assessment of the effects of urban land development in Beijing has revealed a mixed picture of improved economic efficiency and persistent social and spatial disparity. The efficiency of Beijing’s economic growth has improved significantly when compared with its past and with other cities in the region. However, the internal variations in urban socioeconomic development in the Beijing city-region has been worsen. By establishing the relationship among the three elements, namely urban land development, institutional changes and urban socio-economic development, this research challenges the conventional wisdom that sees land development as simply the passive outcome of economic growth and suggests that land should better be seen as the “medium” to connect and materialize the effects of changes in the political and institutional arena upon urban social and economic transformation.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47752531-
dc.subject.lcshLand use, Urban - China - Beijing.-
dc.subject.lcshLocal finance - China - Beijing.-
dc.subject.lcshUrbanization - China - Beijing.-
dc.titleInstitutional changes and land development in Chinese cities: a case study of Beijing, 1996-2008-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4775253-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineGeography-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4775253-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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