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Review

Resilience Thinking as a System Approach to Promote China’s Sustainability Transitions

by 1,2,3,4
1
Climatology Research Group, University of Bayreuth, 95447 Bayreuth, Germany
2
Bayreuth Centre of Ecology and Environmental Research, University of Bayreuth, 95448 Bayreuth, Germany
3
State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Institute of Water and Soil Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100, China
4
Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development, 01279 Dresden, Germany
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5008; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125008
Received: 22 April 2020 / Revised: 12 June 2020 / Accepted: 13 June 2020 / Published: 18 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Planning Techniques)
Urban regeneration and rural revitalization are becoming major policy initiatives in China, which requires new approaches for sustainability transitions. This paper reviewed the history of policy reforms and institutional changes and analysed the main challenges to sustainability transitions in China. The urban-rural systems were defined as a complex dynamic social-ecological system based on resilience thinking and transition theory. The notions of adaptation and transformation were applied to compose a framework to coordinate “resilience” with “sustainability”. The findings indicate that China’s urbanization has experienced the conservative development of restructuring socio-economic and political systems (before 1984), the fast industrialization and economic development leaned to cities (1984 to 2002), the rapid urbanization led by land expropriation and investment expansion (2002 to 2012), and the quality development transformation equally in urban and rural areas (since 2012). The sustainability transitions have been challenged by controversial institutional arrangements, concerning population mobility control, unequal social welfare, and incomplete property rights. A series of policy interventions should be designed and implemented accordingly with joint efforts of multiple stakeholders and based on the combined technocratic and bottom-up knowledge derived from proactive and conscious individuals and collectives through context-dependent social networks. View Full-Text
Keywords: urbanization; rural-urban development; social-ecological systems; transformative changes; adaption and mitigation urbanization; rural-urban development; social-ecological systems; transformative changes; adaption and mitigation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, Q. Resilience Thinking as a System Approach to Promote China’s Sustainability Transitions. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5008. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125008

AMA Style

Li Q. Resilience Thinking as a System Approach to Promote China’s Sustainability Transitions. Sustainability. 2020; 12(12):5008. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125008

Chicago/Turabian Style

Li, Qirui. 2020. "Resilience Thinking as a System Approach to Promote China’s Sustainability Transitions" Sustainability 12, no. 12: 5008. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125008

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