Urban Master Planning in China

A case study of policy and practice in Hua County

Authored by: Guanzeng Zhang , Baoyu Wang , Xinyan Jiang

The Routledge Handbook of Planning Research Methods

Print publication date:  November  2014
Online publication date:  August  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415727952
eBook ISBN: 9781315851884
Adobe ISBN: 9781317917038


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The preparation of plans is a key part of any planning system, although the nature and character of these plans vary with each planning system. Some of the more structural aspects of plan making – such as the principle of survey-analysis-plan – cut across these different systems. Yet the detailed aspects of plan making are context-specific and these will imply a particular series of plan making and research methods. Some of the methods used in plan making in practice resemble methods that will be familiar to those engaged in academic research, comprising surveys, interviews, focus groups and analysis of a multitude of secondary data sources, including census information and demographic surveys. These methods are, however, adapted and applied with a different purpose, with plans seeking to establish clear strategies for action by a range of stakeholders over varying time frames. This chapter highlights some of the specific methods used in plan making in China, focusing on the preparation of strategic master plans (Qian and Wong, 2012). A key argument put forward in the chapter is that there is a need for plan-making methods to evolve from their traditional characteristics in order to address both some of the challenges facing Chinese cities and some of the weaknesses of established methods of plan making.

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