The Bartlett School of Planning


China Planning Research Group Event

01 October 2018, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm

China Planning Research

Event Information

Open to





Fangzhu Zhang


Room G.01, Central House
14 Upper Woburn Place

This China Planning Research Group seminar will be chaired Chaired by Professor Mike Raco (The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL) and will consist of two presentations.

Presentation 1: Understanding Urban Industrial Dyanamics in China (17.30 - 18.15)

Speaker: Professor Canfei He
College of Urban and Environmental Sciences,
Peking University 

Discussant: Professor Fulong Wu (Bartlett School of Planning, UCL)

Abstract: Economic reform since the late 1970s has caused remarkable industrial dynamics in Chinese cities with new industries replacing failing industries. Evolutionary economic geography (EEG) proposes an endogenous model to explain urban industrial evolution, stressing the importance of knowledge and inter-industry technological relatedness in creating new industries and sustaining incumbent industries in cities and concludes that urban industrial evolution is path dependent. This talk will first review the pattern of urban industrial dynamics and discuss the institutional changes for industrial development in China. EEG certainly provides an important perspective to shed light on industrial dynamics in China. The China’s development model however downplays the explanatory power of the endogenous EEG. More emphasis should be paid to the roles of institutional changes, global local interactions, the local and central governments. Moreover, technological relatedness should be expanded to include institutional relatedness, market relatedness and resource relatedness to support the creation of new industries.

Speaker bio: Dr. Canfei He is a Cheung Kong professor and the Dean of the College of Urban and Environmental Sciences at Peking University (PKU). Professor He earned his Ph.D. degree in geography from Arizona State University in 2001. He was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Memphis during 2001-2003. Dr. He is the deputy director of the Peking University–Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy. He is the associate editor of three Chinese journals including World Regional Geography, Geographical Research and Tropical Geography and is on the editorial board of several international journals, including Applied Geography, Geographical Journal, Eurasian Geography and Economics, Growth and Change, Area Development and Policy and Asian Geographers. Dr. He’s research interests include industrial geography, urban and regional development, and environmental economic geography in China. Dr. He has published widely in international journals. He is also the lead guest editor of several special issues for Growth and Change (2016), Geojournal(2016), and Small Business Economics (2018). He was granted the Outstanding Young Scientist Award by National Natural Science Foundation of China in 2014 and was entitled the Cheung Kong professorship in 2016 by the Ministry of Education in China. He was listed by Elsevier as one of the most cited researchers in mainland China (social sciences), for four consecutive years (2015-2018).

Presentation 2: Housing Market and Policy in China (18.15 - 19.00)

Speaker: Dr Zhi Liu
Peking University-Lincoln Institute Centre for Urban Development and Land Policy

Discussant: Professor Nick Gallent (Bartlett School of Planning, UCL)

Abstract:  Abstract: Taking a developmental perspective, the presenter will give a comprehensive overview of the urban housing development and challenges in China. China completed a transition of urban housing provision to the market in 1998. This was followed by a government economic policy in 2003 that promoted the real estate sector as one of the pillar industries of the national economy. The policy triggered a rapid growth of housing markets and prices that lasted from 2004 to 2014—known as the golden period. In recent years, while housing demand in the most vibrant major cities remains strong and the prices continue to grow, demand in most other cities have cooled down significantly. The rapid increases of housing prices in the most vibrant cities have widened the wealth inequalities between homeowners and those who do not own a housing unit. Dr. Liu will discuss the factors that contributed to the “golden period” of housing market growth—including economic policy, land policy, municipal finance, and affordable housing programs. While China’s growth-oriented housing policy has contributed to the significant improvement of housing conditions for the majority of the urban population, it has also resulted in a number of unintended economic, financial, and social consequences. Housing the migrant households and the new families will remain a major challenge for the near future. As the conditions that made the golden period possible has faded away, a new housing policy framework must be put in place to set the housing sector development back on a healthy, sustainable, demand-responsive track.

Speaker bio: Dr. Zhi Liu is Senior Research Fellow and China Program Director with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Director of Peking University – Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy. He had been with the World Bank for 18 years, where he managed a number of investment lending projects and economic sector studies in the infrastructure and urban sectors in a number of developing countries. His areas of research interests include infrastructure financing, municipal finance, land policy, housing policy, and transport economics. He holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from Harvard University. He serves as a member of Expert Committee for China’s 13th Five-Year National Socio-Economic Development Plan.

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