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 21: Planning intercity railway systems in China’s mega-city regions: the case of the Pearl River Delta

Jiang Xu


China’s intercity railway planning regime is too often seen as a centrally constituted, internally coherent, and operationally closed system, but this view ignores or downplays the extent to which this regime is embedded in a web of power relations. Using intercity railway development in Guangdong Province’s Pearl River Delta as an example, this chapter argues that the intercity railway planning regime is emerging as a hybrid, contradictory and relatively open system. It explores how key planning decisions for the Pearl River Delta Intercity Railway network are initiated, planned, negotiated and implemented in the context of a diffuse power structure and an inadequate institutional environment.

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