Network Governance and the Evolving Urban Regeneration Policymaking in China : A Case Study of Insurgent Practices in Enninglu Redevelopment Project

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Original languageEnglish
Article number2280
Journal / PublicationSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Online published20 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021



The network governance approach has been adopted by many researchers and practitioners with respect to policy analysis and modern state governance. This study utilizes a broadly de-fined network-based framework to trace the evolution of urban regeneration policymaking in Guangzhou, China. Drawing upon the notions of “network” and previous scholars’ work on participatory planning, this study focuses on the changing relational networks among the various actors that are engaged in the urban regeneration process and the factors motivating these changes. In so doing, this study uses the ongoing Enninglu redevelopment project (2006–) as an illustrative case study. By examining the insurgent practices in the Enninglu redevelopment process, this study argues that urban redevelopment policymaking in China has changed twofold. First, the planning regime has transited from state-dominant practices to one that is primarily driven by the local government, the enhanced role of higher education institutions and experts as a “professional interest group”, and the increased participation of non-state actors in the policymaking process. Second, the decision-making mechanism has transformed from an interventionism-oriented system to a polyarchy-oriented system in which both the advocacy coalition and opposition coalition are embedded in the governance network. Additionally, the emergence of insurgent practices in Enninglu suggests an emerging shift toward substantive participatory governance in the Chinese context. From a network perspective, this study attempts to contribute to the understanding of the evolving urban regeneration policymaking in China and broader governance networks in urban regeneration practices.

Research Area(s)

  • Insurgent practices, Network governance, Participatory planning, Planning regime, Urban regeneration

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