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Title: A contextual framework for sustainable neighbourhood planning in transitional urban China : a case of Chengdu city
Authors: Zhang, Qi
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Two issues are challenging the role of sustainable neighbourhood planning in enhancing urban sustainability. Firstly, most sustainable neighbourhood planning practices and research have been undertaken following the global standard but little has specifically considered contextual variations among different neighbourhoods, especially the inappropriate and problematic borrowing of ideas from different contexts. Secondly, there have been increasing concerns about the disparity between sustainability and liveability under the planning for sustainability movement. In China, urban neighbourhoods have experienced substantial transitions due to significant economic, social and institutional reforms and the rapid rise of urbanization since the 1980s. These transitions span old and new neighbourhoods, from the dissolved danwei neighbourhoods and transformed resettlement neighbourhoods to emerging commodity-housing neighbourhoods. As such, numerous and diversified problems have arisen that require a more sustainable and liveable planning framework. However, both neighbourhood planning and neighbourhood sustainability assessments are still in their infancy, and there is very little comprehensive empirical research on sustainable neighbourhood planning in China. The research gaps specifically lie in identifying the barriers hindering the development of sustainable neighbourhoods and the major factors contributing to sustainable neighbourhoods. There is also a need to examine how neighbourhood sustainability and life satisfaction can be better integrated in order to develop more sustainable and liveable neighbourhoods in China. The aim of this study was therefore to enhance sustainable neighbourhood development in transitional China by developing an adaptive sustainable planning framework that addresses the context of three typical neighbourhoods. The following three neighbourhoods in Chengdu city were selected to reflect the transitions and challenges: a traditional danwei neighbourhood, a resettlement neighbourhood, and a commodity-housing neighbourhood. The research utilized an approach that combined qualitative and quantitative methods. A comprehensive literature review was conducted to investigate the barriers hindering the practice of neighbourhood planning in China, on the basis of which a preliminary theoretical framework of sustainable neighbourhoods was constructed. Several rounds of in-depth interviews with experts in the field of urban planning and other relevant fields were conducted to verify the three major identified barriers and the proposed framework. A case study and questionnaire survey based on the proposed theoretical framework were conducted in three different neighbourhoods to obtain residents' perception of the sustainability factors among the neighbourhood and their life satisfaction. Descriptive analysis, logistic regression and path analysis were adopted to investigate the significant associations between perceived sustainability and neighbourhood life satisfaction, as well as moving intentions. The study revealed that the key issues hindering sustainable neighbourhood planning development in China include little support from national policy and local governance, ambiguous legislation on community management, insufficient public participation, and a weak sense of community. Although each neighbourhood has its own distinct sustainability challenges, infrastructure and public engagement were two common and significant dimensions affecting the overall sustainability of the neighbourhoods. The study also produced an adaptive framework for simultaneously considering sustainability and liveability in the three different local contexts. Findings from this study contribute to the literature on developing and adapting sustainable neighbourhood planning in China and will help decision-makers and professionals to incorporate contextual and satisfaction considerations into local planning for sustainable development. The findings also lay a foundation for future research on exploring the generalizability of the proposed sustainability framework in other parts of China and other cities around the world experiencing similar rapid urbanisation.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Sustainable development -- China -- Chengdu
City planning -- China -- Chengdu
Pages: 290 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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