The performances of urban growth management are often criticized because their original objectives are frequently inconsistent with local development facts. Underlying the many reasons for this are the political and institutional contexts that influence policy-making and development activities. The urban fringe, a zone is managed to against urban sprawl in many countries, represents the conflicts between urban management system and local development resulting from political transformation. This study examines the case of decentralised-concentration strategy, one of the most important metropolitan growth management in Beijing since the 1990s, and sheds some lights on the performance of the growth management in the transformation context. The results suggest that the aims of municipal growth management to concentrate developments in urban fringe have partly been achieved through actual local developments; however, some unexpected and illegal local developments outside the planned areas are counterproductive from the perspective of municipal growth management. The performance of the present growth management is being challenged by new trends towards political decentralisation and locally fiscal responsibilities. In the interest of future policymaking, the dominant central planning system in Beijing should take these decentralisation trends into growth management account, compared with the great progress in decentralisation in economy system. The urban policy needs to shift from the dictatorial manner and put more efforts into creating a harmonious relationship between municipal growth management and actual local demands on development.