Eco city development in China: addressing the policy implementation challenge

de Jong, M., Yu, C., Joss, S., Wennersten, R., Yu, L., Zhang, X. and Ma, X. 2016. Eco city development in China: addressing the policy implementation challenge. Journal of Cleaner Production. 134 (Part A), pp. 31-41. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.03.083

TitleEco city development in China: addressing the policy implementation challenge
Authorsde Jong, M., Yu, C., Joss, S., Wennersten, R., Yu, L., Zhang, X. and Ma, X.
Abstract

Over the last few decades, China has seen a steep rise in diverse eco city and low carbon city policies. Recently, attention has begun to focus on the perceived shortcomings in the practical delivery of related initiatives, with several publications suggesting a gap between ambitious policy goals and the emerging realities of the newly built environment. To probe this further, in this article we examine – based on the policy network approach – how the gap between high-level national policies and local practice implementation can be explained in the current Chinese context. We develop a four-pronged typology of eco city projects based on differential involvement of key (policy) actor groups, followed by a mapping of what are salient policy network relations among these actors in each type. Our analysis suggests that, within the overall framework of national policy, a core axis in the network relations is that between local government and land developers. In some cases, central government agencies– often with buy-in from international architecture, engineering and consulting firms – seek to influence local government planning through various incentives aimed at rendering sustainability a serious consideration. However, this is mostly done in a top-down manner, which overemphasizes a rational, technocratic planning mode while underemphasizing interrelationships among actors. This makes the emergence of a substantial implementation gap in eco city practice an almost predictable outcome. Consequently, we argue that special attention be paid in particular to the close interdependency between the interests of local government actors and those of land and real estate developers. Factoring in this aspect of the policy network is essential if eco city implementation is to gain proper traction on the ground.

Keywordseco city development; policy implementation; policy network theory; typology of eco cities; low carbon cities; China
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Journal citation134 (Part A), pp. 31-41
ISSN0959-6526
Year2016
PublisherElsevier
Accepted author manuscriptDe Jong article 2 Accepted Manuscript (9 April 2016).pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.03.083
Publication dates
Published09 Apr 2016
Published in print15 Oct 2016

Related outputs

Prospects for Standardising Sustainable Urban Development
Joss, S. and Rydin, Y. 2018. Prospects for Standardising Sustainable Urban Development. in: Bell, S. and Morse, S. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Sustainability Indicators Abingdon, Oxon Routledge. pp. Chapter 24

Future Cities: Asserting Public Governance
Joss, S. 2018. Future Cities: Asserting Public Governance. Palgrave Communications. 4 (36). doi:10.1057/s41599-018-0087-7

Explaining city branding practices in China’s three mega-city regions: The role of ecological modernization
De Jong, M., Chen, Y., Joss, S., Lu, H., Zhao, M., Yang, Q. and Zhang, C. 2018. Explaining city branding practices in China’s three mega-city regions: The role of ecological modernization. Journal of Cleaner Production. 179, pp. 527-543. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.01.098

The smart city and Its publics: insights from across six UK cities
Cowley, R., Joss, S. and Dayot, Y. 2018. The smart city and Its publics: insights from across six UK cities. Urban Research & Practice. 11 (1), pp. 53-77. doi:10.1080/17535069.2017.1293150

Sustainable Cities in Asia; Preface
Joss, S. and Cowley, R. 2017. Sustainable Cities in Asia; Preface. Routledge.

Smart cities: towards a new citizenship regime? A discourse analysis of the British smart city standard
Joss, S., Cook, M. and Dayot, Y. 2017. Smart cities: towards a new citizenship regime? A discourse analysis of the British smart city standard. Journal of Urban Technology. 24 (4), pp. 29-49. doi:10.1080/10630732.2017.1336027

The New Urban Agenda: key opportunities and challenges for policy and practice
Caprotti, F., Cowley, R., Datta, A., Broto, V.C., Gao, E., Georgeson, L., Herrick, C., Odendaal, N. and Joss, S. 2017. The New Urban Agenda: key opportunities and challenges for policy and practice. Urban Research & Practice. 10 (3), pp. 367-378. doi:10.1080/17535069.2016.1275618

National Policies for Local Urban Sustainability: A New Governance Approach?
Joss, S. and Cowley, R. 2017. National Policies for Local Urban Sustainability: A New Governance Approach? in: Eames, M., Dixon, T., Hunt, M. and Lennan, S. (ed.) Retrofitting Cities for Tomorrow’s World London Wiley. pp. 227-245

Smart-Eco Cities in the UK 2016
Joss, S., Caprotti, F., Cowley, R. and Yu, L. 2016. Smart-Eco Cities in the UK 2016. Exeter University of Exeter (Smart Eco Cities Project).

Tomorrow’s City Today: Prospects for Standardising Sustainable Urban Development
Joss, S., Cowley, R., de Martin Jong, Müller Bernhard, Park, B.S., Rees, W., Roseland, M., Rydin, Y., de Jong, M. and Mueller, B. 2015. Tomorrow’s City Today: Prospects for Standardising Sustainable Urban Development. London University of Westminster.

Eco-cities and Sustainable Urbanism
Joss, S. 2015. Eco-cities and Sustainable Urbanism. in: Wright James, D. (ed.) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 6. Oxford Elsevier. pp. 829-837

Sustainable Cities: Governing for Urban Innovation
Joss, S. 2015. Sustainable Cities: Governing for Urban Innovation. London Palgrave Macmillan.

Sustainable–Smart–Resilient–Low Carbon–Eco–Knowledge Cities; Making sense of a multitude of concepts promoting sustainable urbanization
de Martin Jong, Joss, S., Daan Schraven, Changjie Zhan and Weijnen Margot 2015. Sustainable–Smart–Resilient–Low Carbon–Eco–Knowledge Cities; Making sense of a multitude of concepts promoting sustainable urbanization. Journal of Cleaner Production. 109, pp. 25-38. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.02.004

Adapting adaptation: the English eco-town initiative as governance process
Tomozeiu, D. and Joss, S. 2014. Adapting adaptation: the English eco-town initiative as governance process. Ecology and Society. 19 (2), p. 20. doi:10.5751/ES-06411-190220

Rising to the challenge: public participation in sustainable urban development
Joss, S. 2014. Rising to the challenge: public participation in sustainable urban development. in: Hofmeister, W., Rueppel, P. and Lye, L.F. (ed.) Eco-cities: sharing European and Asian best practices and experiences Singapore Select Books. pp. 35-51

The eco-city as urban technology: perspectives on Caofeidian International Eco-City (China)
Joss, S. and Molella, A.P. 2013. The eco-city as urban technology: perspectives on Caofeidian International Eco-City (China). Journal of Urban Technology. 20 (1), pp. 115-137. doi:10.1080/10630732.2012.735411

Towards the ‘ubiquitous eco-city’: an analysis of the internationalisation of eco-city policy and practice
Joss, S., Cowley, R. and Tomozeiu, D. 2013. Towards the ‘ubiquitous eco-city’: an analysis of the internationalisation of eco-city policy and practice. Urban Research & Practice. 6 (1), pp. 54-74. doi:10.1080/17535069.2012.762216

Eco-city indicators: governance challenges
Joss, S., Tomozeiu, D. and Cowley, R. 2012. Eco-city indicators: governance challenges. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment. 155, pp. 109-120. doi:10.2495/SC120101

Eco-cities - a global survey 2011: eco-city profiles
Tomozeiu, D., Joss, S. and Cowley, R. 2011. Eco-cities - a global survey 2011: eco-city profiles. London University of Westminster.

Eco-city governance: a case study of Treasure Island and Sonoma Mountain Village
Joss, S. 2011. Eco-city governance: a case study of Treasure Island and Sonoma Mountain Village. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning. 13 (4), pp. 331-348. doi:10.1080/1523908X.2011.611288

Eco-cities: the mainstreaming of urban sustainability; key characteristics and driving factors
Joss, S. 2011. Eco-cities: the mainstreaming of urban sustainability; key characteristics and driving factors. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning. 6 (3), pp. 268-285.

Eco-cities: a global survey 2009
Joss, S. 2010. Eco-cities: a global survey 2009. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment. 129, pp. 239-250. doi:10.2495/SC100211

Accountable governance, accountable sustainability? A case study of accountability in the governance for sustainability
Joss, S. 2010. Accountable governance, accountable sustainability? A case study of accountability in the governance for sustainability. Environmental Policy & Governance. 20 (6), pp. 408-421. doi:10.1002/eet.559

Making technology accountable: citizens' conferences in the era of public accountability
Joss, S. 2009. Making technology accountable: citizens' conferences in the era of public accountability. Diacritica. 23 (2), pp. 299-316.

Eco-Cities: a preliminary survey and analysis of recent developments and initiatives
Joss, S. 2009. Eco-Cities: a preliminary survey and analysis of recent developments and initiatives. Eco-Cities Workshop. Lemelson Center 24 Mar 2009

Webs of accountability: the challenge of 'new governance'
Joss, S. 2008. Webs of accountability: the challenge of 'new governance'. Royal Geographical Society International Annual Conference 2008. London 27 - 29 Aug 2009

Public spheres pushing for change: participation in the governance of GM crops
Joss, S. 2007. Public spheres pushing for change: participation in the governance of GM crops. in: Taylor, I.E.P. (ed.) Genetically engineered crops: interim policies, uncertain legislation Binghampton Haworth Food & Agricultural Products Press. pp. 305-339

Lost in translation? Challenges for participatory governance of science and technology
Joss, S. 2005. Lost in translation? Challenges for participatory governance of science and technology. in: Bogner, A. and Torgersen, H. (ed.) Wozu experten?: Ambivalenzen der beziehung von wissenschaft und politik Wiesbaden, Germany Verlag fur Sozialwissenschaften. pp. 197-219

Between policy and politics. Or: whatever do weapons of mass destruction have to do with GM crops?: the UK's GM nation public debate as an example of participatory governance
Joss, S. 2005. Between policy and politics. Or: whatever do weapons of mass destruction have to do with GM crops?: the UK's GM nation public debate as an example of participatory governance. in: Maasen, S. and Weingart, P. (ed.) Democratization of expertise?: exploring novel forms of scientific advice in political decision-making Dordrecht, Netherlands Springer.

Zwischen politikberatung und offentlichkeitdiskurs: erfahrungen mit burgerkonferenzen in Europa
Joss, S. 2003. Zwischen politikberatung und offentlichkeitdiskurs: erfahrungen mit burgerkonferenzen in Europa. in: Schicktanz, S. and Naumann, J. (ed.) Burgerkonferenz: Streitfall Gendiagnostik: ein Modellprojekt der Burgerbeteiligung am bioethischen Diskurs Opladen, Germany Leske & Budrich. pp. 15-35

Towards the public sphere: reflections on the development of participatory technology assessment
Joss, S. 2002. Towards the public sphere: reflections on the development of participatory technology assessment. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society. 22 (3), pp. 220-231. doi:10.1177/02767602022003006

Assessing debate and participative technology assessment (ADAPTA): project no. BIO-CT98-0318: annex no. 1: the Denmark national report
Joss, S. and Kluver, L. 2001. Assessing debate and participative technology assessment (ADAPTA): project no. BIO-CT98-0318: annex no. 1: the Denmark national report. Grenoble, France University of Grenoble. doi:BIO-CT98-0138

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/9w50q/eco-city-development-in-china-addressing-the-policy-implementation-challenge


Share this
Tweet
Email