Raumordnung und regionalplanung in China

Translated title of the contribution: Spatial and reginal planning in China

Werner Breitung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Under the far-reaching social, political and economic transformation in China, here especially market mechanisms and administrative decentralisation, the character of spatial and regional planning is changing as well. This article reviews the historical development of spatial policies in the People's Republic of China and discusses the two kej recent developments: the development of a system of Major Function Oriented Zones and the promotion of regional planning in mega urban areas by the central authorities. The former refers to the zoning of areas according to their desired development mode. The description of the four types of zones for the first time follows not only economic but also social and environmental considerations. The author addresses this as a novel approach because it moves the state from the role of developer to the role of regulator. The conditions under which this move may succeeed and the related central-local relationships are discussed. The relationship between the central and the local state is also an issue for metropolitan planning. After a long period of decentralisation, the central state now comes back to coordinate and structure megaurban regions. This is because these regions are increasingly seen from the perspective of global competitiveness and the domestic agenda of urbanisation as a motor for social modernisation. The author argues that for reasons of effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy the stronger role of the central state should eventually give way to more refined mechanisms of multi-level regional governance.

Translated title of the contributionSpatial and reginal planning in China
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)12-19
Number of pages8
JournalGeographische Rundschau
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


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