Handbook on Transport and Urban Transformation in China
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Handbook on Transport and Urban Transformation in China

Edited by Chia-Lin Chen, Haixiao Pan, Qing Shen and James J. Wang

Since 1978, when China embarked on a new period of economic reforms and introduced open door policies, it has experienced a great urban transformation. The role of transport has proved indispensable in this unprecedented rapid urbanisation and economic growth. As the first research-focused book dedicated to this important topic, the Handbook on Transport and Urban Transformation in China offers new insight into the various opportunities and challenges brought by fast-paced motorization and urban development, and explores them in broad spatial-economic, environmental, social, and institutional dimensions.
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Chapter 3: Highway development in China

Xin Fu


China has formed a relatively mature national highway network system to the country’s development in the past 40 years since the reform and opening up. This chapter attempts to analyze the development and prospects of China's highway network (CHN) from multiple perspectives. First, the CHN’s functional hierarchy, system division, system distribution and development modes are introduced. Second, the spatial evolution pattern and effects of the network are discussed, and then some issues on economic promotion, debt risk and financial sustainability are also investigated. It can be seen that by playing a crucial role in improving accessibility and mobility, the CHN is evidently capable of facilitating time–space convergence and spatial coverage. But its impact on the economy promotion and industrial upgrading has huge controversies with multiple facets. The problematic toll policy and huge financial risks threaten the sustainability of the entire network.

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