How can urban planning meet the challenges of urbanization and urban transformation in a country like China? The answer lies in the development of new planning strategies, Vivi Wang concludes in her PhD dissertation Between Flexibility and Reliability.

In a changing society new planning strategies should generate the flexibility needed to cope with new and unexpected initiatives from both public and private actors. At the same time, they should also create a reliable framework for sustainable developments in the long term.

The changing role of urban development is deeply rooted in China´s political, economic and social domains and is part of its cultural renewal. Reforms are placed in the broader context of globalization. Wang compares various historical periods in the country and analyses the changes that have taken place in cultural context. In this way she examines the conditions for, approaches to, and results of Chinese spatial planning. According to Wang, these developments are inextricably rooted in Chinese history and tradition. As such it is an alternative to Western paradigms.

Published: October 2013