City as province in China: the territorial urbanization of Chongqing

Miguel Hidalgo Martinez*, Carolyn Cartier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Chongqing is a province-level city region in China’s interior with a land area larger than many small countries. Limited scholarship tends to treat Chongqing as a new jurisdiction formed in relation to development of the Three Gorges Dam and reform of historic state-planned industry from the Mao era. This analysis turns to the complex process of land redistricting in a process of “territorial urbanization” that has also simultaneously reshaped the economy of Chongqing. By conceptualizing Chongqing as a dynamic administrative territory, this analysis defines changes in the relational configuration of its administrative divisions (xingzheng quhua) as a multi-faceted state strategy of governing land use change and the fiscal regime to realize infrastructure development. Especially by establishing districts in Chongqing, territorial urbanization works to enhance the funding capacity of the Chongqing government to develop larger, expansive infrastructure projects. This urban transformation of Chongqing demonstrates how processes of land use change and government funding, materializing in the built environment, are directly related to changes in state territorial configuration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-230
Number of pages30
JournalEurasian Geography and Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2017


  • Chongqing
  • district
  • land use change
  • taxation
  • territorial urbanization

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