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Editorial - Urban Planning in China

Concepts, Actors, and Projects
Nicolas Douay
Translated by Michael Black
p. 3-5


The aim of this issue is to observe the role played by spatial planning and urban planning in contemporary Chinese changes, and to identify theoretical and practical transformations by focusing on the concepts, actors, and projects of urban planning. First, it is a matter of questioning the evolution of the styles of planning and of the concepts that underpin action. (...) In the Chinese context, this raises the question of going beyond the traditional planning model and of the advent of new styles of planning that could become more strategic in order to follow neoliberal prescriptions, more collaborative in order to better build consensus among actors, more sustainable in order to respond to environmental emergencies (...). Secondly, it is a matter of observing the concrete modalities of these voluntary transformations of space. (...) The interest of this dossier is to try to cross-reference these dimensions in order to provide a more detailed understanding of this central element in contemporary Chinese transformations.

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Bibliographical reference

Nicolas Douay, « Editorial - Urban Planning in China », China Perspectives, 2017/1 | 2017, 3-5.

Electronic reference

Nicolas Douay, « Editorial - Urban Planning in China », China Perspectives [Online], 2017/1 | 2017, Online since 01 March 2017, connection on 18 June 2018. URL :

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About the author

Nicolas Douay

Nicolas Douay is Associate Professor of urbanism at the Université Paris-Diderot (UMR Géographie-Cités) and is currently on assignment with the CNRS at the French Center for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC).CEFC, 20/F Wanchai Central Building, 89 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong (

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