Handbook on China’s Urban Environmental Governance


Handbook on China’s Urban Environmental Governance

9781803922034 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Fangzhu Zhang, Professor and Fulong Wu, Bartlett Professor of Planning, Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, UK
Publication Date: 2023 ISBN: 978 1 80392 203 4 Extent: 452 pp
This Handbook addresses how Chinese cities govern environmental changes generated by fast economic growth and urbanisation. With in-depth case studies on governing waste management, climate change, and energy transition, it will illuminate the relationship between the state, market, and society in environmental governance.

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This timely and comprehensive Handbook addresses how Chinese cities govern the environmental changes generated by fast economic growth and urbanisation. Outlining the relationship between the state, market, and society, this Handbook provides a systematic understanding of urban environmental governance in China.

Exploring the context of changing urban environmental policies in China, leading international scholars highlight the arts of governance and governmentality through experimentation and discourse. Chapters investigate the political ecologies of eco-cities and conservation, urban waste management, and governance and sustainability transitions, as well as focusing on low-carbon innovations and green buildings. With a territorial perspective grounded in Chinese cities, contributors interrogate changing and complex state–market–society dynamics in urbanisation and urban environmental governance.

With a thorough and systematic analysis of new environmental initiatives, practices, and impacts, this Handbook provides scholars, students, and policy researchers of environmental studies, politics, and East Asian studies with an exemplary selection of contemporary research on China’s urban environmental governance.

Critical Acclaim
‘Nuanced in both description and analysis, this rich Handbook is a welcome resource for students of urban and environmental developments in China during its push towards “ecological civilisation”. It is broad in its empirical reach, presenting cases across urban and rural environments at various scales, and breaks new ground in its conceptual and methodological dimensions.’
– Roger Keil, York University, Canada

‘This outstanding collection provides a unique insight on the practices, rationalities, and outcomes of current urban environmental governance in the “Middle Kingdom”. The book foregrounds the tensions that emerge from the implementation of government-led discourses, and also engages with the emergence of a new urban technological sublime in environmental policy, alongside more conventional strategies for institutional change. This book is destined to become a classic and will surely be essential reading for any researchers and students grappling with the complexity of urban development and climate politics in China’
– Vanesa Castan Broto, Sheffield University, UK

‘This timely edited collection examines how the ideology of “ecological civilisation” is reshaping urban environmental governance in China. Bringing together insightful case studies of a range of contemporary urban environmental problems, the collection shows how the Chinese state’s attempts to manage the socio-ecological challenges of urban entrepreneurialism amount to little more than temporary “fixes”.’
– Andrew E.G. Jonas, University of Hull, UK

‘This Handbook is an essential resource for anyone interested in environmental governance in China. It provides insightful analysis that will help both students and practitioners better understand how there is a wide range of environmental governance practices and political ecologies in China today!’
– Genia Kostka, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Contributors: Xidong Cao, Faith Ka Shun Chan, I-Chun Catherine Chang, Yunzhu Chen, Ali Cheshmehzangi, Shiuh-Shen Chien, Calvin King Lam Chung, Jingya Dai, Martin de Jong, Yang Fu, David Gibbs, Shenjing He, Ping Huang, Shih-yang Kao, Xiyan Mao, Will McDowall, Yining Liu, Zhilin Liu, Kevin Lo, Yuwen Lu, Lin Peng, Junxi Qian, Jesse Rodenbiker, Mengqi Shao, Yun Song, Li Sun, Xin Tong, Robin Visser, Biyue Wang, Chin-chih Wang, Jie Wang, Kun Wang, Linda Westman, Austin Williams, Natalie W.M. Wong, Fulong Wu, Linjun Xie, Jiang Xu, Yuchen Yang, Li Yu, Zhen Yu, Guofang Zhai, Le-Yin Zhang, Mengzhu Zhang, Fangzhu Zhang, Xiaoling Zhang, Yuxi Zhang, Tianchen Zhou, Yu Zhou

Preface xvii
1 China’s urban environmental governance 1
Fangzhu Zhang, Fulong Wu and Yining Liu

2 China’s eco dreams and green reality 26
Austin Williams
3 Indigenous literary perspectives on green governance grassland management policies in China 41
Robin Visser
4 When an entrepreneurial government hammers out a plan for sustainable growth: a sustainable urban experiment story in China? 54
Yang Fu and Xiaoling Zhang
5 Resilient city planning and practices in China 69
Guofang Zhai and Yuwen Lu
6 The applicability of environmental governance theories to China 93
Xidong Cao and Li Yu

7 Farmland preservation and watershed management in China: a perspective of local entrepreneurial leadership in the party-state mechanism 115
Shiuh-Shen Chien
8 Carbon governmentality in Chinese cities 128
Le-Yin Zhang
9 The politics of climate experimentalism in China 144
Kevin Lo
10 Climate transformation through experimental governance: the case of the low-carbon city pilot program in China 156
Zhilin Liu, Jie Wang and Yunzhu Chen
11 Urban sustainability experiments in China: plural approaches for transformation 169
Linjun Xie, Ali Cheshmehzangi, Mengqi Shao, Yuxi Zhang and Faith Chan
12 Eco and low-carbon, smart and sponge: potential and delusion in realising environmental benefits from sustainable city branding 186
Martin de Jong and Li Sun
13 Greening Chinese cities? Denaturalizing the ‘good’ of environmental discourses in China’s urban planning system 201
Jiang Xu and Mengzhu Zhang

14 Eco-cities in China: national initiatives, local implementation and livelihood transitions 227
I-Chun Catherine Chang
15 Political ecologies of urban–rural conservation planning and resettlement 243
Jesse Rodenbiker
16 Negotiating urban sustainability on the ground: China’s greenway development as land politics 257
Calvin King Lam Chung and Jingya Dai

17 China’s environmental governance transition: a new paradigm for waste management 272
Yuchen Yang, Will McDowall and Fangzhu Zhang
18 Towards an inclusive circular economy: wise-waste city network in China 291
Xin Tong
19 Sustainable waste management: the influences of government capacity in the greater China region 304
Natalie W.M. Wong, Lin Peng and Chin-chih Wang
20 From state entrepreneurialism to state-led ecological civilisation: changing dispositifs of governing e-waste metabolism and ‘cyborg’ urbanisation in China’s e-waste cities 323
Kun Wang, Junxi Qian and Shenjing He
21 Ecological civilization, anti-incineration activism and the rolling out of ‘compulsory waste-sorting’ programs in Chinese cities 340
Shih-yang Kao

22 Green industry development and urban sustainability transitions in China’s latecomer cities: the case of Dezhou 355
Zhen Yu and David Gibbs
23 Green building in China: governance and promotion of sustainability 369
Yu Zhou and Tianchen Zhou
24 Urban transition governance in China’s new era of ecological civilization: opportunities and challenges 387
Ping Huang, Linda Westman and Xiyan Mao
25 Integrated transit and sustainable urban development: case studies of metro and HSR stations 403
Yun Song and Biyue Wang

Index 417
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