The political economy of urban space : central business district development in Shanghai and Hong Kong

by Ye, Ming

Abstract (Summary)
(Uncorrected OCR) Abstract of thesis entitled "THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF URBAN SPACE: CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT IN SHANGHAI AND HONG KONG" Submitted by. Ming Ye for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at The University of Hong Kong in July 2005 For the past twenty years, studies on urban space and the urban political economy of urban development have been disjointed. In other words, the studies on urban space by urban design scholars have rarely been collaborated by colleagues in other disciplines as they study urban development. This study will fill the gap by adopting the 'growth machine' model, which has been utilized by researchers in various academic fields, to construct an explanatory framework for CBD development. Growth machine is made up of the collective and concerted activities of growth coalitions, who deliberately work to develop and change the urban landscape. This research will examine the role of the political interests of governments and planners, and the profit-seeking of land developers and land owners in the formation of local pro-growth coalitions in Shanghai and Hong Kong. These groups are concerned with land developments more as a bundle of place development than as urban space modifications or social-cultural transformations. In addition, it is expected that the different political economies of these two non-democratic systems at the municipal level will provide an interesting context for comparing their urban redevelopment styles. At the same time, a city-level analysis allows for more focused and detailed studies, which will enhance the empirical validity of the analysis. The main contributions of this research could be concluded as below. First, through a comparative analysis on the process of CBD development in Shanghai and Hong Kong, this study supports the argument that: the pro-growth coalition is the hidden force behind urban spatial changes, despite the contrasts in political structure. Second, the empirical analysis on the project location of top 50 developers in Shanghai, and the monopoly of 10 large developers in Hong Kong, could finally prove that there is a difference in the pro-growth coalition formation process between Hong Kong and Shanghai. It is argued that the pro-growth coalition in Shanghai is dominated by the government and state-owned developers(SODs), while Hong Kong's main coalition actors are private developers. As for the implications, this research highlights an important link between public and private sector's development, and advocates an institutional rules or regulations on the public-private partnership, which could contribute to urban redevelopment. Also, there is a need for a further research agenda on the growth machine, which will be a significant theme of Chinese urban development in the coming years. (398 words)
Bibliographical Information:


School:The University of Hong Kong

School Location:China - Hong Kong SAR

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:central business districts political aspects china hong kong urbanization shanghai hanghai


Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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