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Special Issue "Globalization and Sustainable Urban-Regional Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 September 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Kevin H. Zhang

Department of Economics, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4200, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 309-438-8928
Fax: 309-438-5228
Interests: international economics; economic development; urban and regional economics; innovation and technology; industrial development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urban-regional development is facing challenges of sustainability. In addition to environmental sustainability, which has been largely addressed in the literature, growth sustainability has been a key issue to all cities/regions, but the relevant studies have been limited. The growth sustainability requires continuous forces to drive economic development. Three driving forces may be identified from the economic history and literature: resources (such as cheap labor and land), efficiency (such as scale economies and specialization), and innovation (i.e., technology and business models). In the increasingly integrated world economy, how does globalization affect sustainable urban-regional development? In the context of sustainability, globalization means tighter links between all markets affecting resources, efficiency, and innovation. While indigenous efforts in technology and infrastructure appear to be important to urban–regional development, globalization through international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) has become central to sustainable development as global production systems have grown in importance. To obtain rewarding and sustainable growth, a city/region must build its own growth capabilities through connecting external sources of technology and market access. The objective of this Special Issue is to compile the cutting-edge studies on the link between globalization and sustainable cities/regional and their interactions. Specifically, this Special Issue invites theoretical and empirical studies on the following themes, although other relevant topics will also be considered:

  • Competitive theories of growth sustainability under globalization
  • Theoretical framework of urban–regional development under globalization
  • Government policies and the globalization-growth sustainability link
  • Policy intervention and sustainable urban/regional development
  • Globalization and resource-driven urban/regional development
  • Globalization and efficiency-driven urban/regional development
  • Globalization and innovation-driven urban/regional development
  • Globalization and industrial upgrading in cities/regions
  • Rising wages and globalization in urban/regional development
  • Role of international trade in sustainable cities/regions
  • Role of FDI in sustainable cities/regions
  • Globalization and export upgrading in cities/regions
  • Globalization and industrial competitiveness in cities/regions
  • FDI, trade, and industrial agglomerations
  • FDI, trade, and industrial clusters

Prof. Dr. Kevin H. Zhang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • growth sustainability;
  • sustainable cities/regions;
  • globalization;
  • international trade;
  • foreign direct investment;
  • resource- and efficiency-driven growth;
  • innovation;
  • export and industrial upgrading;
  • industrial clusters;
  • regional agglomerations

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Regional Economic Resilience: Resistance and Recoverability of Resource-Based Cities during Economic Crises in Northeast China
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2136; doi:10.3390/su9122136
Received: 29 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2622 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
This paper quantitatively analyzes the economic resilience of resource-based cities (RBCs) in Northeast China in terms of resistance and recoverability during two economic crises: the Asian financial crisis and the global financial crisis. Moreover, it analyzes the main factors that affected regional resilience.
[...] Read more.
This paper quantitatively analyzes the economic resilience of resource-based cities (RBCs) in Northeast China in terms of resistance and recoverability during two economic crises: the Asian financial crisis and the global financial crisis. Moreover, it analyzes the main factors that affected regional resilience. There are three main findings. First, the RBCs in general demonstrated poor resistance during both recessions, but there were variations among the different types of RBCs. Petroleum and metal cities demonstrated the most resistance, whereas coal cities performed the worst. Second, the influential factors affecting economic resilience varied across the two economic cycles, but location advantage, research and development (R and D) intensity, foreign trade dependence ratio, and supporting policies had positive effects on resilience during both economic cycles, while the proportion of employed persons in resource industries had a negative effect. Industrial diversity had a weak and ambiguous effect on resilience. Third, the secondary industry was more resilient during the Asian financial crisis, but the tertiary industry was more resilient during the global financial crisis. This shift may be attributed to both the nature of the crises and the strength of the sectors at the time of the crises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Globalization and Sustainable Urban-Regional Development)

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