Eco and Low-Carbon New Towns in China: Sustainability Transformation in the Making

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This book examines the sustainability transition theory in the context of urbanization in China, tracing the development of eco and low-carbon cities. It examines how ideas on building eco-cities and low-carbon cities travel from nation to nation, how they are adopted in the Chinese administrative context and what role inter-scalar actors play in getting the ideas transferred, translated and operationalized on the ground.

Offering an overarching theoretical framework that incorporates all urban sustainability experiments in China, the book conducts a comprehensive analysis of the master plans of these new towns and summarizes the normative transition targets of sustainable urban experiments. It explores how they differ from each other and how they influence transition dynamics in practice. By examining four eco and low-carbon new towns deemed representative of current major approaches to sustainability transition management in China, the book provides a detailed depiction of generic transition management and explains the different transitional trajectories for each type of sustainable urban experiment. It demonstrates how subnational-level and city-level transitions mediate the national transition. Through a thorough inquiry into inter-scalar dynamics, institutional arrangements and techno-social innovations in sustainable urban experiments, the book links generalized transition rules and specific contexts to present a full view of the challenges, failures and territorial problems of eco and low-carbon new towns.

This book makes a novel contribution to the study of Chinese urbanization by revisiting issues and problems of contemporary urban China. The reflection on these urban issues will provide implications to policymakers, professionals and the common reader interested in the future sustainable urbanism in China.

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Taylor & Francis Ltd
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