Urban Planning and Design
Research Centre: Centre of Urban Studies and Urban Planning
Active Dates: 31 October 2014 - 31 October 2016
Development beyond growth poles: new districts in the Greater Pearl River Delta Region
Principal Investigator – Dr. Chan, Roger Chun Kwong
Co-Investigator – Dr. Tang, Yuanzhou
Senior Research Assistant – Dr. Zhuojun Liu
Project Funded by:
General Research Fund of Hong Kong Research Grants Council (Project No. 17400514)
The 2009 “Outline Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta” sets the framework for the development of the Greater Pearl River Delta (GPRD) Region as a world-class base for advanced manufacturing and modern service industries. Inter-governmental cooperation agreements on key areas that include finance, industries, infrastructural and town planning, environmental protection as well as education and skill training have been reached between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. Three new districts (Qianhai of Shenzhen, Nansha of Guangzhou and Hengqin of Zhuhai) were designated as vehicles for cooperation among the three governments. The focus is on developing financial and producer services with a view to bringing about economic upgrading and industrial transformation across the GPRD Region.
The designation of the three new districts as strategic economic areas in the region bears resemblance to the classic Growth Pole Theory. In as much as the three districts are growth poles to achieve a spread effect on a regional level, the PRD is itself a growth pole at the national level under the national strategy that has, in the past 30 years, followed a pattern of selective development in the coastal regions. Instead of achieving an evenly spread effect and a balanced economic development, the country has, however, become economically polarized.
The research charts the planning and implementation process of the three districts, and evaluates their development and growth against the stated strategies and objectives. The project carries empirical and academic significance. Empirically, the first-hand data and information on the policy rationale, formation and development of the new districts generated in the research are useful resources for future studies and policy formulation for regional development. Academically, growth pole theory and its application will be examined in the light of the development experience of the three new districts. The deployment of a multi-scalar perspective is an analytical breakthrough in the study of development strategies in China.
Anticipated Outcomes and Outputs:
“The Planning and Development of New Growth Poles in the Greater Pearl River Delta Region”, Sub–Session of The 3rd Conference on China Urban Development International Conference on Urbanization and Urban Transformation in China, Shanghai, China (06.06.2015)
|Conference Paper Title||Conference Name|
|1. Three Decades of Spatial and Economic Transformation: From Growth Pole Theory to Free Trade Zones in the Greater Pearl River Delta Region
2. Implications of Guangdong’s New Urbanization Plan
|The 3rd Conference on China Urban Development International Conference on Urbanization and Urban Transformation in China
|China’s New State Space: Evidence from Qianhai, Shenzhen
|Fourth Global Conference on Economic Geography|
San Francisco, USA
|1. Paper session: Free Trade Zones in China: Theory and Practice
2. Paper title: Spatial Organization and Governance of the Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone
|Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting
To review the background leading to, and the relevant literature on, the formation of regional co-operation on building a quality living area from a multi-scalar perspective.
To systematically analyze and evaluate the establishment and development process of the new districts (Qianhai, Nansha and Hengqin), including a comparison of the respective strategic plans proposed by the new districts.
To critically evaluate the current regional development policies and their implementation, accompanied by a holistic discourse of urban and regional planning within the GPRD Region.
To provide recommendations for improving the mechanism and institutional establishment for attaining regional cooperation, spatial optimization for industrial restructuring, and for better urban and regional development planning.