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Qin Tianbao and Zhou Chen

As its name indicates, this chapter describes an overall picture in which Chinese concurrent environmental laws have been formulated, implemented and enforced and then further developed, with all the necessary background information for a better understanding through a broader perspective. Several general and crucial issues are under intense discussion here, such as the basic Chinese situation on environmental degradation, its history of domestic environmental legislation and its institutional construction. Basically, this chapter adopts a holistic approach, taking a global view but with a focus on the regional and domestic levels. The element of time is important when we are trying to deepen the analysis on some key issues. For instance, we illustrate, briefly, the evolvement of the 1989 Environmental Protection Law, in particular its latest amendment released in 2014. In addition, Chapter 1 contributes to the entire book, by identifying the striking Chinese characters. These much-needed indigenous features are likely to be verified, where possible, in the rest of the chapters that each deal with individual specific areas. In the final part of this chapter the scope and stricture of the proposed handbook is outlined for guidance.

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Zhou Chen and Qin Tianbao

Chapter 19 is a comprehensive conclusion for the entire handbook. Based on the previous discussions on every single legislative area in China’s environmental protection, this chapter focuses mostly on the general recollection of the major and most remarkable endeavors the Chinese environmental legislature has achieved in the past decades. And, as a logic consequence, it throws light on the comments in a prudent and constructive term, which in turn mirrors some important opinions in the very first chapter such as the striking Chinese features. For specific environmental issues, individual chapters (from 2–18) have a wealth of information, illustrating them with various examples from all over the China. To a large extent, they are framed and self-concluded. This final chapter is, therefore, freed from having to complete more details on the relevant areas. Instead, it looks ahead, highlighting the mainstream trends and prospects of Chinese environmental protection activities and legislative progress, which is of particular importance under the new context of the China’s judiciary reformation: the era of rule of law as well as ecological civilization construction.

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Zhenhua Chen, Kingsley E. Haynes, Yulong Zhou and Zhaoxin Dai

Chapter 1 provides a background introduction of the development of high speed rail (HSR) in China.

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Zhenhua Chen, Kingsley E. Haynes, Yulong Zhou and Zhaoxin Dai

Chapter 2 evaluates the spatial impacts of China’s HSR on urban transformation with a focus on land value. The land value change in the process of HSR new town development is evaluated empirically using a spatial difference-in-differences model. The assessment is based on micro -level land transaction data with 629,741 records for the period 2007–15. The research finding shows that HSR plays a significant role in facilitating urban transformation in China. The development of HSR is associated with a 3–13 percent increase in land value, ceteris paribus, but the impacts are found to vary considerably by type of city, land and the specific location within a city. Overall, the study provides evidence and implications for policy makers to improve decision making on land policy reforms and future infrastructure development through an understanding of the effectiveness of HSR on land value change.

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Zhenhua Chen, Kingsley E. Haynes, Yulong Zhou and Zhaoxin Dai

Chapter 3 investigates the spatial-temporal impacts of China’s HSR on urban growth and land use change using remote sensing data and geographical information systems, with a focus on the areas near three HSR stations along the Beijing-Shanghai passenger dedicated line (BSPDL). The spatial variations of the impacts of HSR on urban growth are captured by comparing land use changes using satellite images of three different cities: Beijing, Jinan and Bengbu. The temporal variations of urban growth are evaluated through a comparative analysis based on digitalized Landsat TM/TIRS images of 2005, 2010 and 2016. The research findings suggest that the development of HSR plays a more significant role in facilitating urban expansion in medium and small cities than in large cities. In terms of temporal variations, urban growth is found to be much stronger before and during the development of HSR than after system deployment.

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Zhenhua Chen, Kingsley E. Haynes, Yulong Zhou and Zhaoxin Dai

Chapter 4 investigates the impact of long-distance HSR on housing prices in China. The analysis focuses on the 1,016 housing communities in 22 cities along the Beijing-Shanghai HSR line. The tradition of the hedonic pricing model was adopted using three estimation procedures: a robust ordinary-least squares regression, a Box-Cox transformation technique and a spatial econometric model. After controlling for the physical characteristics of housing property, the neighboring environment and locational accessibility, the study finds that the establishment of the Beijing-Shanghai HSR line has a considerable regional impact (including local effects and spillover effects) on housing values in medium and small cities but a negligible impact in larger capital cities.

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Zhenhua Chen, Kingsley E. Haynes, Yulong Zhou and Zhaoxin Dai

Chapter 5 further evaluates the housing impact of HSR with a focus on China’s metropolitan intercity HSR systems. The chapter investigates the spatial impact of urban transit systems on urban housing prices in three metropolitan areas: Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu. Based on a data set of 7,348 housing properties, a spatial hedonic modeling approach is adopted to explore the impacts of urban mass transit systems in general and by specific mode (bus, metro and IPR) on urban housing prices in the three different metropolitan areas. The study finds a positive effect of the newly deployed intercity passenger rail services on housing price, but the spatial impacts of urban transit systems vary substantially across different metro areas.

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Zhenhua Chen, Kingsley E. Haynes, Yulong Zhou and Zhaoxin Dai

Chapter 6 investigates the spatial impacts of Chinese HSR systems on domestic tourism demand, which is measured by the number of domestic tourists and domestic tourism revenue. Using a spatial econometric regression analysis, the study confirms that during the period between 1999 and 2016, the implementation of HSR does have diverse spatial impacts on tourism output. Specifically, the impacts were found to be much stronger in the less developed west regions, whereas the impacts were found to be moderate in the central region and less significant in the developed east regions. In addition, the results also suggest that much of the effects were due to positive spatial spillover effects of HSR, which is likely due to improved regional accessibility.

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Zhenhua Chen, Kingsley E. Haynes, Yulong Zhou and Zhaoxin Dai

Chapter 7 investigates the impacts of HSR on domestic air transportation in China using a new modeling framework which captures both the demand and the supply responses. The assessment was conducted using an improved panel regression model by taking into account the detailed opening schedules of various HSR services during the period 2001–14. The research findings reveal that the HSR services deployed have a significant substitutional effect on domestic air transportation in China, but the effect varies across different HSR routes, travel distance and city type. The impacts are found to be much stronger among those air routes that connect major hubs within a distance range of 500 to 800 km.