Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Developing urban design as public policy in China : a case study in Shenzhen
Author: Deng, Zhaohua
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 3853
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2009
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This research explores how China has been developing urban design as public policy in the context of rapid urbanization and radical Socialist market reform. This is not a well developed area in urban research in China, however Western literature provides a good comparative basis through which to develop a more sophisticated system of design control. In pursuing the research objective, a Chinese city - Shenzhen has been chosen as a case study. It is the national exemplar and represents the best Chinese practices. Inspired by international aspirations for good practice in design control, the Shenzhen case study allows exploration of the political and economic influences on design outcomes, reveals the instruments used by planners to promote good design, uncovers the shifting concept of urban design, and assesses the impacts of the permitting process on project design. Some 11 commercial office projects have been selected to provide empirical evidence. They range from masterplanned projects in central locations to individual developments in off-centre locations, from conventional developments to projects involving appeals and illegal constructions, from recently completed projects to the ones still in the planning process. The event-sequence and structure-agency models derived from real-estate research have been used to analyse design processes. To collect the data, a 'snowball approach' mixed with participant-observation, documentary review, interview and design evaluation are utilised. This research reveals that Shenzhen has achieved progressive improvements in developing urban design as public policy. However urban design's public values are only partially embedded in Shenzhen's urban planning system, due to rapid urbanization processes, the significant change of development scale, top-down hierarchy of political control, lack of discrimination among tenants and the partial application of the generic urban design principles in the planning and design process. Shenzhen is facing many challenges when compared with the best international practice in design review. In detail, the city has a strong design vision for its future, but this is not developed with the local communities, and only reflects an elite vision that is both short-term and oriented towards business. The political support, the use of land powers, and discretionary zoning control have provided a solid basis for Shenzhen to pursue higher quality urban design, but a more regulated system is needed to limit political intervention and provide a better research base for planning decision making. Planners are slowly developing urban design principles to address the quality of the public realm, but they need a deeper understanding of the generic design principles and sustainable design. Shenzhen's established planning permission process has been a successful mechanism for design intervention, but it needs to address weaknesses in public participation and in dealing with monitoring, enforcement and appeal. It is argued that Shenzhen is representative of most large Chinese cities, but small or medium size cities and the cities with conservation issues may have slightly different experiences. Future challenges are discussed and practical suggestions are made to better develop urban design as public policy in Shenzhen and more generally in China.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available