Edited by Ray Yep, June Wang and Thomas Johnson
Chapter 8: Transformation of Chinese cities and city-regions in the era of globalization
Since the late 1970s, the post-Mao economic transition has led to rapid urbanization and a profound restructuring of cities and city-regions in China. This chapter reviews the trajectory of China’s post-1978 urbanization and explores the shifting patterns of urban and regional development within the country’s changing political and economic context. It aims to understand how the complex relationship between globalization, marketization and state intervention has constantly (re)shaped urban and regional transformation in the Chinese context, and to reveal the geographical diversity of this transformation. The key argument is that cities and city-regions in China are a material expression of the state’s economic development ideologies and strategies. The transformation of cities and city-regions in the era of globalization should be examined by looking at the combination of their existing, path-dependent economic basis, their available, unique local assets and, critically, their positions in the state’s strategic spatial development choices and urbanization policies.
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