Check out this free access article from our Special Issue| Governing green urbanism: The case of Shenzhen, China, by Mee Kam Ng

This article can be found in the Special Issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs regarding new urban governance.

This article currently has free access and is available to read and download.

Governing green urbanism: The case of Shenzhen, China, by Mee Kam Ng


Mainstream green urbanism is usually advocated for overcoming climate change and responding to the challenges of socioeconomic polarization in a market-dominated society. The purpose of Shenzhen’s pursuit of green urbanism is different. Shenzhen has formulated various incarnations of plans to direct its development. In the 1980s, land was allocated to state-owned enterprises to initiate developments in 5 clusters separated by natural green corridors. However, the reintroduction of a land market in the late 1980s and the expansion of the special economic zone to cover the rural county in the 1990s led to sprawling economic growth and massive influx of migrant population, resulting in land shortage and low productivity. Since the 2000s, various planning-related measures and technical requirements have been introduced to resurrect “clustered developments” through constructing new ecological districts and redeveloping existing settlements. These projects help boost land supply and productivity but they also raise questions of “place-breaking” and displacement of migrant population.

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