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Open AccessArticle

Edge-Urbanization: Land Policy, Development Zones, and Urban Expansion in Tianjin

by Zhigao Liu 1,2, Jiayi Zhang 1,3 and Oleg Golubchikov 4,5,*
1
Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2
School of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
4
School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3WA, UK
5
Department for Spatial Development and Regional Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow 101000, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2538; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092538
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 27 April 2019 / Accepted: 28 April 2019 / Published: 1 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Fast-paced urban growth in China has produced a specific, transient form of urban periphery, which continuously shifts outwards as the city expands. Seeing this process as a distinctive type of (sub)urbanization, this paper encapsulates it under the notion of edge-urbanization. The paper argues that edge-urbanization in China is fueled by deliberate government policies, which seek to mobilize peripheral land for high-growth strategies. The relationships between urban expansions and spatial economic policy are analyzed more closely in the case of Tianjin. Geospatial analysis derived from satellite imagery for the period of 1980–2015 reveals the morphological and temporal dynamics of urban growth in the post-reform era. Built-up land in Tianjin has expanded 1.8 times during this period, with the dominant growth type being edge-expansion. This character of urban expansion is shown to be closely associated with government’s “project fever”—setting up development zones and new economic activity on city edge. The results demonstrate a decisive role of the state in shaping (edge) urbanization in China’s major cities. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban growth; land policy; state-market relations; development zones; Tianjin urban growth; land policy; state-market relations; development zones; Tianjin
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Liu, Z.; Zhang, J.; Golubchikov, O. Edge-Urbanization: Land Policy, Development Zones, and Urban Expansion in Tianjin. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2538.

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