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Title: City regions of the People's Republic of China, 1949-1959
Author: Fung, Ka-iu
ISNI:       0000 0001 3485 5398
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1979
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In contrast with the stagnation in city planning and development during the Nationalist regime, industrial urbanization began to accelerate soon after the Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949. The central authorities promulgated the Suburban Agrarian Reform Law for acquiring and reserving land in designated suburban areas for future development. This law laid the foundation for China's long-term urban and suburban planning. However, throughout the First Five Year Plan period (1953-1957), many "key-point" industrial centres spread chaotically into the surrounding countryside. This was mainly attributed to legislative weaknesses in land allocation for capital construction and unplanned, or at best, improperly planned urban development, arising from indiscriminate emulation of Soviet model of city planning and development. One of the most serious consequences of urban sprawl was the extensive displacement of urban fringe agriculture, leading to acute shortage of vegetable supply in many large cities. To limit excessive expansion of cities in order to conserve valuable suburban farm land and to promote self-sufficiency in vegetable supply in the cities, a variety of remedial measures was introduced. The beginning of 1958 witnessed the institutionalisation of the urban-centred planning unit - the city region. Under this unified planning agency, the functions of the municipal authorities of the central city were centralized. The agricultural land use in the suburban districts was restructured. The urban population and economic activities were dispersed to the self-contained industrial satellites. Since 1959 all large urban centres in China have been encircled by an intensively cultivated horticultural zone, resembling the innermost circle of von Thunen's model. A case study of the suburban development in Shanghai is presented. The findings reveal that China's city region strategy has successfully accomplished socialist urban transformation of the city.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral