DOI: 10.22217/upi.2019.530
Development Stages, Planning Thoughts, and Practical Actions: Evolution of Modern Chinese Regional Planning Theories and Practices in an International Context

Luo Zhendong, Cui Gonghao, Qiao Yibo

Keywords: Regional Planning, Development Stage, Planning Thought, Practical Action, China


Regional planning in China constitutes an integral part of the global history of regional planning. The evolution of Chinese regional planning theories and practices should be understood, interpreted, and compared in a broader, international context. As an important tool for regional governance, the approach to regional planning will inevitably bear characteristics that are distinctive to a specific country and time; whereas the dynamics in the evolution of regional planning theories and practices also comes from adapting to specific development stages in certain countries and regions. Over the last seventy years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, while being exposed to the influence of global theories and practices, China has seen its regional planning in constant adjustments to seek better alignment between the development stage, planning thought, and practical actions. Along with the continuous advancing of China's modernization and urbanization, the understanding of development stage gets clearer, the competition among different interest groups becomes increasingly tough, and the practical actions get more diversified. With that, China's grasp of trends and patterns in regional planning has been gradually improved. This paper aims to figure out the correlations between urbanization in China and in the world, especially in Western developed countries, to relate different stages to one another. Therefore, Chinese planning thought and practical actions over the past seven decades can be reviewed with a frame of reference, with which China's response to  international trends in various stages can be evaluated. As conclusions, this paper establishes the correlations between development stages, planning thoughts, and practical actions. Furthermore, based on the judgment on China’s urbanization trends, this paper identifies the directions for innovation on China's regional planning.

Funds: This study is funded by National Science Foundation of China (51878329,51478216).

Brief Info of Author(s):

Dr. Luo Zhendong is a professor in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at Nanjing University, and the executive director of the Research Center for Spatial Planning at Nanjing University. Email:

Cui Gonghao is a professor and PhD advisor in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at Nanjing University, and the honorary president of the Institute of Urban Planning and Design at Nanjing University.

Qiao Yibo is a PhD candidate of Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning at Utrecht University, The Netherlands.

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