Urban Futures- toward a new model of urbanisation and urban living in China?

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Sch of Anthropology & Museum Ethnography


My proposed doctoral research focuses on understanding new emerging trends around urbanisation and migration within the developing world - using the tagline of urban futures and the case study of the Jing-Jin-Ji urban agglomeration in China. Urbanisation has been an important driving force for economic development and prosperity in the world in the last 30 years, while Asia's urban development has been one of the primary engines for international economic growth. With ongoing changes of the global political, environmental and economic climate, urban futures have become a fundamental international and national policy agenda in achieving sustainability. China under the leadership of President Xi has embarked on a different urbanisation strategy for the future - namely 'Chinese style new urbanism'. At the national level, urban development focus has shifted from the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta regions to the nation's capital region - Jing-Jin-Ji region (also known as Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei). Within Jing-Jin-Ji, two very high- profile new districts, Xiong'an and Tongzhou, are under construction, both to act as new towns for population overspill from Beijing. Although Xiong'an, lies within Hebei Province's jurisdiction, it has been given the status as the third national level development zone, only after Shenzhen and Shanghai Pudong. Under the careful instruction and supervision of the central government, the planning and development principals of these new districts reflect the Communist Party's new urbanisation policies and ideas. It is timely and very important to study Xiong'an and Tongzhou in the regional context of Jing-Jin-Ji as there is a clear intention from the planners to use these new districts to produce a different model of urban future with Chinese characteristics. China's urbanisation, so far, was dominated by rural to urban migration, resulting in a process of centralisation and urban agglomeration. Xiong'an and Tongzhou marks a new style of internal migration for China as, apart from the construction workers, both new towns will function as new areas to attract and accommodate residents from Beijing - a process of decentralisation and polycentric development. For better or for worse, these new activities in Jing-Jin-Ji and the development of Xiong'an and Tongzhou will affect urban futures and possible hint at new urban living in China. The experiences of which will have important implications to global development and international urbanisation. It is therefore a very important topic for theoretical and empirical PhD research.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000649/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2260980 Studentship ES/P000649/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2022 Kevin Wang