Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Urban sprawl and sustainable development in China
by Wang, Xiaoxiao, Ph.D., Illinois Institute of Technology, 2012, 231; 3536583
Abstract (Summary)

Compared to the rich literature on urban sprawl in Western cities, relatively little is known of the driving factors, processes, and future trends of urban sprawl in China. This research will analyze the socio-economic forces behind two parts of urban sprawl in China: urban decentralization (the creation of development zones and new towns) and urban renewal (infrastructural changes to existing urban fabrics) and reveal two basic characteristic for Chinese urban sprawl: a). de-densification; and b). expansion of urbanized areas (urban built-up areas). This proposal aims to use the term "urban sprawl" to consider the reasons behind urban land-use changes and urban pattern transformations on a regional level. It begins with definitions of sprawl in Western and Eastern countries, and follows an analysis of the social, political, and cultural factors of sprawl. Three case studies will focus on three urban centers in China: Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Still another component is data analysis with the program SPSS based on related Index for urban sprawl and sustainable development for 15 top urban regions in China during 10 years. This research has explored causes of urban sprawl in China: a). the changing residential preferences of some residents: willing to move out of the core; b). overcrowded, deteriorated, and old-fashioned structures in central cities have become targets for demolition in pursuing a new era of modernity, prosperity, and renaissance; and c). too much concentrated or scattered developing form for Chinese cities. Then, this research has pointed out: a). uneven land reform is the key to understand Chinese-style urban sprawl and it is also the necessary condition to the paradox posed by development zones and urbanized villages; b). China's urban sprawl is driven by both market and government forces; and c). there are a series of new conditions for urban sprawl in China, for example: rising private automobile ownership, rising demand for space and changing residential preference, local public policy, and the real-estate industry. This research intends to provide a comprehensive definition of "urban sprawl" in China, identify the patterns of urban sprawl and growth in three urban regions (Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou), and illustrate the concepts and possible alternative strategies for green urban growth and change in China. Finally, it will offer suggestions on how to effectively control urban sprawl in China, as well as provide a pathway to achieving sustainable development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mallgrave, Harry Francis
School: Illinois Institute of Technology
Department: Architecture
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Urban planning
Keywords: Sustainable development, Urban renewal, Urban sprawl
Publication Number: 3536583
ISBN: 978-1-267-95073-4
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