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Eco-city on the rise : a study on green capitalism, neoliberal planning and corruption in China’s eco-city development

Chen Jehpsson, Jian LU (2014) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM01 20141
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
In 2011, China’s urban population surpassed its rural population for the first time in the history when it reached 690 million. The massive urbanization has resulted in a booming of urban housing and infrastructure. Consequently, crowded infrastructure systems burdened by an increasing urban population and severe environmental problems like air pollution have become the main challenges for Chinese cities. In recent years, the Chinese government has begun to envision an urban future with so-called eco-cities. Eco-city development is largely supported by national and local governments since it appears to be a solution not only to environmental sustainability in the mounting critique against Chinese cities’ environmental condition but also a... (More)
In 2011, China’s urban population surpassed its rural population for the first time in the history when it reached 690 million. The massive urbanization has resulted in a booming of urban housing and infrastructure. Consequently, crowded infrastructure systems burdened by an increasing urban population and severe environmental problems like air pollution have become the main challenges for Chinese cities. In recent years, the Chinese government has begun to envision an urban future with so-called eco-cities. Eco-city development is largely supported by national and local governments since it appears to be a solution not only to environmental sustainability in the mounting critique against Chinese cities’ environmental condition but also a way of attracting green capital investment.

In this thesis, I have attempted to understand the relationship between green capitalism, neoliberal planning and corruption in the context of China’s eco-city development. The case study of Dongtan eco-city in Shanghai is used as an empirical venue to apply the above conceptual frameworks. The data collection is based on literature review of academic journals, news articles, reports and qualitative/quantitative secondary data. My study shows that corruption facilitates eco-city projects supported by the concept of neoliberal planning; the neoliberal planning strategy intensifies intercity competition for green capital investment, which in turn increases the likelihood of corruption as a result of public and private actors seeking economic and career advances through illegal practices. A lack of effective supervision from the public and civil society groups exacerbates the situation and leads to a vicious circle of systemic corruption. My study offers new insights into China’s eco-city development and shows the importance of anti-corruption for urban sustainability. (Less)
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author
Chen Jehpsson, Jian LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM01 20141
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
China, intercity competition, corruption, Green capitalism, neoliberal planning, eco-city, sustainability science, urbanization
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2014:026
language
English
id
4461764
date added to LUP
2014-06-16 10:37:07
date last changed
2014-06-16 10:37:07
@misc{4461764,
  abstract     = {In 2011, China’s urban population surpassed its rural population for the first time in the history when it reached 690 million. The massive urbanization has resulted in a booming of urban housing and infrastructure. Consequently, crowded infrastructure systems burdened by an increasing urban population and severe environmental problems like air pollution have become the main challenges for Chinese cities. In recent years, the Chinese government has begun to envision an urban future with so-called eco-cities. Eco-city development is largely supported by national and local governments since it appears to be a solution not only to environmental sustainability in the mounting critique against Chinese cities’ environmental condition but also a way of attracting green capital investment. 

In this thesis, I have attempted to understand the relationship between green capitalism, neoliberal planning and corruption in the context of China’s eco-city development. The case study of Dongtan eco-city in Shanghai is used as an empirical venue to apply the above conceptual frameworks. The data collection is based on literature review of academic journals, news articles, reports and qualitative/quantitative secondary data. My study shows that corruption facilitates eco-city projects supported by the concept of neoliberal planning; the neoliberal planning strategy intensifies intercity competition for green capital investment, which in turn increases the likelihood of corruption as a result of public and private actors seeking economic and career advances through illegal practices. A lack of effective supervision from the public and civil society groups exacerbates the situation and leads to a vicious circle of systemic corruption. My study offers new insights into China’s eco-city development and shows the importance of anti-corruption for urban sustainability.},
  author       = {Chen Jehpsson, Jian},
  keyword      = {China,intercity competition,corruption,Green capitalism,neoliberal planning,eco-city,sustainability science,urbanization},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Eco-city on the rise : a study on green capitalism, neoliberal planning and corruption in China’s eco-city development},
  year         = {2014},
}