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Daniele Brombal - Institutional change in China’s sustainable urban development. A case study on urban renewal and environmental management

Date: 15. March 2017

Time: 18.30-20.00

Venue: SIN1, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna, Austria

Over  the  last  decade,  the  concept of  sustainable  development  has  gained  increasing  importance within   China’s   urban   development.   Urban(izing)   China,   not   only   catalyzes   many   of   the   country’ sustainability  issues,  but  also  constitutes  the  locus  where  novel  institutional  arrangements  for  sustainable development  are  tested  and  implemented.  This  paper  explores  new  paradigms  of integrated  territorial management,  unfolding  in  areas  where  concerns  of  water  pollution  control  and  remediation  intersect  with objectives  of  urban  renewal.  The  analysis  focuses  on  the  case  of  the  Lihu  lake  basin,  located  in  the  city  of Wuxi  (Jiangsu  province),  considered  by  many  observers  at  the  forefront  in  China’s  quest  for  sustainable urban  development.  In  Lihu  the integration  of  environmental  management  with  urban  planning  has  led  to the  creation  of  a  new  organizational  field,  revolving  around  the  issue  of  sustainable  development  of  urban areas, with distinctive regulatory, normative, and cognitive aspects. While epitomizing a case of integrated territorial  management,  the  experience  of  Lihu  lake  basin  highlights  the  challenge  of  fostering  inclusive social development in urban areas.

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