Matching Items (6)

Caoyang New Village: a Model for New Chinese Urban Development?

Description

Located in the Putuo District of Shanghai, Caoyang New Village is an anomaly of sorts from the perspective of contemporary Chinese urban planning. With a history dating back to the

Located in the Putuo District of Shanghai, Caoyang New Village is an anomaly of sorts from the perspective of contemporary Chinese urban planning. With a history dating back to the early Mao era, the village has long been a symbol of socialist urban imagery that seems ahead of its time because in many ways it displays contemporary "new urbanism" elements. This paper discusses the origins and history of Caoyang Workers' Village, moving forward to its present conditions and recent role as an urban site for participatory planning. It also considers future redevelopment plans for Caoyang New Village, touching upon current conflict over the preservation of its cultural heritage and the need to address its housing issues. In analyzing the past and present of Caoyang New Village, questions of its future as a unique entity within modernity-seeking Shanghai arise.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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The Implementation Gap in Responding to Beijing’s Air Pollution: Explanation and Policy Recommendations

Description

The lack of in-depth understanding of why policies succeed or fail in implementation puts future policymaking in a situation of having insufficient information to craft effective interventions. Mainstream policy implementation

The lack of in-depth understanding of why policies succeed or fail in implementation puts future policymaking in a situation of having insufficient information to craft effective interventions. Mainstream policy implementation theory is rooted in a democratic institutional setting. Much less empirical research and theory addresses implementation in top-down authoritarian contexts, such as China. This study addresses the research question of how the Chinese governance context affects stakeholder’s behavior in combating air pollution, based on the analysis of implementation of three particular air pollution policies: (i) Natural gas / electricity conversion from coal, for winter heating, (ii) Widespread deployment of New Energy Vehicles, and (iii) The shutting down of cement production in northern China during the winter heating period to avoid overlapping pollution emissions from winter heating.

This study identifies flexibility and accountability as two important characteristics of the Chinese governance context, and traces how they affect stakeholder behavior and coalition formation, which in turn impacts policy implementation performance. The case study methodology triangulates analysis of government policy documents, secondary data, and the results of semi-structured key informant interviews.

Findings include: (i) The Chinese government has a very strong implementation capability to pass directives down and scale up, enabling rapid accomplishment of massive goals. It also has the capability to decide how the market should come into play, and to shape public opinion and ignore opposition; (ii) Interventions from the authoritarian government, given China’s vast economy and market, and the efficient top-down tiered bureaucratic system, risk distorting the market and the real policy goals during the implementation process; (iii) There tends to be an absence of bottom-up participation and feedback mechanisms; (iv) An effective self-correction mechanism, associated with flexibility and adaptability by a myriad of stakeholders often enables effective policy adjustment.

Policy implications include: (i) Policy implementation concerns need to be integrated into policy design; (ii) More thorough discussion of options is required during policy design; (iii) Better communication channels and instruments are needed to provide feedback from the bottom-up; (iv) On complex policy issues such as air pollution, pilot projects should be carried out before massive adoption of a policy.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Will Beijing Achieve Global City Status? An Assessment to the Year 2030

Description

Beijing, in its Twelfth Five-Year Plan for the National Economic and Social Development of Beijing (2011 – 2015), affirmed its intention to become a leading “World City with Chinese characteristics.”

Beijing, in its Twelfth Five-Year Plan for the National Economic and Social Development of Beijing (2011 – 2015), affirmed its intention to become a leading “World City with Chinese characteristics.” This research is based on an assessment of the proposed strategies contained within the 12th Five-Year plan that are grounded in the set of indicators (variables) closely associated with world city status. Indicator selection (e.g., percentage of foreign born population) is based on review of shared characteristics of world cities (e.g., Tokyo, New York, Singapore) constrained by availability of Beijing data; plus the significant academic literature on the topic from leading scholars such as Peter Hall. Using these indicators, Beijing’s baseline conditions and associated trends are established for assessment in a Status-Quo Scenario. Thereafter, interventions proposed by the Beijing Municipality to achieve world city status are evaluated.

The results of this assessment will inform Beijing’s policy-makers regarding potential obstacles, pitfalls, or potential disruptions on the road to premier ‘World City’ status, and emphasize the need to undertake peremptory interventions and/or prepare contingency responses, as well as, inform stakeholders and decision-makers of critical and non-critical interventions recommended to achieve World City status by the year 2030.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Metropolitan fusion or folly: the creation of a multiple-nodal metropolis in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China

Description

Targeted growth is necessary for sustainable urbanization. There is a pattern in China of rapid development due to inflated projections. This creates "ghost towns" and underutilized urban services that don't

Targeted growth is necessary for sustainable urbanization. There is a pattern in China of rapid development due to inflated projections. This creates "ghost towns" and underutilized urban services that don't support the population.

In the case of Taiyuan, this industrial third-tier city of 4.2 million people. A majority of the newer residential services and high-end commercial areas are on the older, eastern side of the city. Since 2007, major urban investments have been made in developing the corridor that leads to the airport, including building a massive hospital, a new sports stadium, and "University City". The intention of the city officials is to encourage a new image of Taiyuan- one that is a tourist destination, one that has a high standard of living for residents. However, the consequences of these major developments might be immense, because of the required shift of community, residents and capital that would be required to sustain these new areas. Much of the new development lacks the reliable and frequent public transit of the more established downtown areas.

Do these investments in medical complexes, sports stadiums and massive shopping centers create new jobs that impact the income disparity, or do these new areas take years to fill, creating vacuums of investment that remove funding from areas with established communities? Can Taiyuan move successfully to a post-industrial economy with these government interventions, or is it too much too soon?

By examining demographic data from 2000, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013, research on sustainability assessments in Chinese cities (Lu Jia), and translated government publications detailing the urbanization efforts in Taiyuan, I will assess the results of the urbanization changes instituted by the new mayor, Geng Yanbo. My thesis will evaluate the success and failures of these policies and the implications for Taiyuan.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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A Framework to Evaluate the Impact of Building Legislation on the Performance of the Built Environment: The Case of Kuwait, a Master-Planned City-State

Description

This thesis focuses on the impacts of building regulations, in the form of building codes, on the development of an urban fabric. In particular, it investigates the role of building

This thesis focuses on the impacts of building regulations, in the form of building codes, on the development of an urban fabric. In particular, it investigates the role of building codes on a place that has an inherent sociocultural structure that manifests itself spatially. Using Kuwait City, a once traditional Islamic city, impacts of ‘international’ standards employed through master planning are explored at the neighborhood scale. Kuwait City serves as an ideal case study because of its historic Islamic and Arabic urban pattern that was derived from sociocultural customs, religious beliefs and terrestrial conditions. These influences resulted in a once cohesive city of a courtyard house typology, with narrow and shaded alleyways structured on longitudinal corridors of diverse land-uses promoting access and connectivity; however, the Minoprio, Spencely, and Macfarlane master plan of 1951 eradicated this close-knit urban fabric in favor of “modern” planning ideals which were loosely based on a fusion of Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City and Clarence Perry’s Neighborhood Unit. The 1951 plan called for a tabula rasa and relocation of homes from the historic city center to newly formed ‘super-blocks’ and ‘neighborhood units’. Houses were built following strict building codes governing building heights, floor- area-ratio, and plot-line setbacks, along with other regulations. The Kuwait Building Code (KBC), introduced in 1955, is based on Western planning ideals that are far removed from the existing contextual complexities of Kuwait City.

This thesis will unpack the KBC by virtually translating this canonical text into its parametric spatial envelope, proposing a framework to evaluate its impact on the performance of the urban environment. Using urban modeling and micro-climate simulation tools, the virtual build-up of the rules will allow for a quantifiable examination to evaluate the putative “efficiency” of a modernist building code that determines urban form, by considering multiple performance metrics. By objectively evaluating the role that the KBC plays in determining future urban quality, this research aims to make the case for building in enough space within the code to allow for a more diverse influence of performance indicators to promote a ‘resilient and sustainable’ built environment at the neighborhood level.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Sustainability implications of mass rapid transit on the built environment and human travel behavior in suburban neighborhoods: the Beijing case

Description

The sustainability impacts of the extension of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system in suburban Beijing are explored. The research focuses on the neighborhood level, assessing sustainability impacts in terms

The sustainability impacts of the extension of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system in suburban Beijing are explored. The research focuses on the neighborhood level, assessing sustainability impacts in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and energy consumption. By emphasizing suburban neighborhoods, the research targets the longest commuting trips, which have the most potential to generate significant sustainability benefits. The methodology triangulates analyses of urban and transportation plans, secondary data, time series spatial imagery, household surveys, and field observation. Three suburban neighborhoods were selected as case studies. Findings include the fact that MRT access stimulates residential development significantly, while having limited impact in terms of commercial or mixed-use (transit-oriented development) property development. While large-scale changes in land use and urban form attributable to MRT access are rare once an area is built up, adaptation occurs in the functions of buildings and areas near MRT stations, such as the emergence of first floor commercial uses in residential buildings. However, station precincts also attract street vendors, tricycles, illegal taxis and unregulated car parking, often impeding access and making immediate surroundings of MRT stations unattractive, perhaps accounting for the lack of significant accessibility premiums (identified by the researcher) near MRT stations in suburban Beijing. Household-based travel behavior surveys reveal that public transport, i.e., MRT and buses, accounts for over half of all commuting trips in the three case study suburban neighborhoods. Over 30% of the residents spend over an hour commuting to work, reflecting the prevalence of long-distance commutes, associated with a dearth of workplaces in suburban Beijing. Non-commuting trips surprisingly tell a different story, a large portion of the residents choose to drive because they are less restrained by travel time. The observed increase of the share of MRT trips to work generates significant benefits in terms of lowered energy consumption, reduced greenhouse gas and traditional air pollution emissions. But such savings could be easily offset if the share of driving trips increases with growing affluence, given the high emission intensities of cars. Bus use is found to be responsible for high local conventional air pollution, indicating that the current bus fleet in Beijing should be phased out and replaced by cleaner buses. Policy implications are put forward based on these findings. The Intellectual Merit of this study centers on increased understanding of the relationship between mass transit provision and sustainability outcomes in suburban metropolitan China. Despite its importance, little research of this genre has been undertaken in China. This study is unique because it focuses on the intermediate meso scale, where adaptation occurs more quickly and dramatically, and is easier to identify.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012