China’s Urban Century
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China’s Urban Century

Governance, Environment and Socio-Economic Imperatives

Edited by François Gipouloux

The achievements of China’s urbanization should not be evaluated solely in terms of adequate infrastructures, but also in their ability to implement sound governance practices to ensure social, environmental and economic development. This book addresses several key challenges faced by Chinese cities, based on the most recent policies and experiments adopted by central and local governments. The contributors offer an interdisciplinary analysis of the urbanization process in China, and examine the following key topics: the institutional foundations of Chinese cities, the legal status of the land, the rural to urban migration, the preservation of the urban heritage and the creation of urban community, and the competitiveness of Chinese cities. They define the current issues and challenges emerging from China’s urbanization.
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Chapter 10: Implementation of new social housing programmes: the case of Shanghai and Chongqing

Miguel Elosua and Ni Pengfei


It’s the migrant worker population that is not interested in this city’s welfare benefits. They’d rather earn higher salaries and use this extra money to build big houses back in their hometowns. They don’t like the big city with all its pollution problems, traffic jams, etc. The 11th five-year plan (2006–10) marked a turning point in the development of social housing in China. The State Council demanded that local governments tackle the problem of lack of affordable housing by setting certain rules on delivering social housing to low-income households. The central government had learned the lesson of giving too much leeway to local governments for the development of social housing. As a consequence, economic and comfortable Housing (ECH), which had often resulted in sales to medium-to upper-income families and government officials, was to be gradually abandoned. Institutional arrangements were improved with the creation of the Department of Housing Security, within the Ministry of Housing and Urban–Rural Development, whose role would be to supervise the implementation of policies (Cao and Keivani, 2014). Likewise, in order to enhance local government’s implementation of low-rental housing (LRH) projects, the State Council decreed that 10 per cent of land sales should be used for the building of LRH (State Council, 2007). Public rental housing (PRH) appeared as the new form of social housing, reflecting the transition from subsidized market housing (ECH) to public rental housing (PRH).

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