Planning for Eco-City in China: Policy Mobility in Path Creation of Eco-Zhuhai

  • Lingyue Li Department of Urban Planning, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, Shanghai, P. R. China
  • Shi Xian Guangzhou University – The University of Birmingham Joint Research Centre of Service Industries and Urban Development, School of Geographical Sciences and Remote Sensing, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, P. R. China
  • Zhixin Qi Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Urbanization and Geo-simulation, School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, P. R. China
Keywords: Urban planning, eco-city, sustainable, policy mobility, Zhuhai, China


Idea of eco-city booms in China’s planning practices under central state’s envisioned transition towards “ecological civilization” wherein Zhuhai stands out as an example well fitted the eco-livable paradigm. To disentangle how Zhuhai has achieved such fame, this article identifies two interlocked and nested forms of policy mobility: policy reformulation towards pro-environment and policy circulation of advanced eco-experiences, and reviews key process of eco-city planning in the city since 1980s. Rather than an explicit, long-term vision, the review suggests that Zhuhai’s reputation as an eco-city model results from cumulative effects of early policy formulation towards environmental protection upon its geographical location, its natural assets, and essentially early hysteresis in the growth race. Though subsequent development has been path-dependently locked in, it is benefitted from the planning regime wherein knowledge and experiences related to eco-city are instantly shared.


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