11.S945 | Fall 2013 | Graduate
Urbanizing China: A Reflective Dialogue


Unless noted, the following readings are required to be completed the respective class session.

1 Multiple Interpretations: Urbanization out of Sync

Johnson, I. “China’s Great Uprooting: Moving 250 Million Into Cities,” New York Times, June 15, 2013.

———. “Pitfalls Abound in China’s Push From Farm to City,” New York Times, July 13, 2013.

Friedmann, J. “Introduction: Becoming Urban in China.” In China’s Urban Transition. University of Minnesota Press, 2005. ISBN: 9780816646159. [Preview with Google Books]

Wu, W., and P. Gaubatz. “Introduction.” In The Chinese City. Routledge, 2012. ISBN: 9780415575751. [Preview with Google Books]

Logan, J. R., ed. “Introduction.” In Urban China in Transition. Wiley-Blackwell, 2008. ISBN: 9781405161466. [Preview with Google Books]

Wu, F. “Beyond gradualism: China’s Urban Revolution and Emerging Cities.” In China’s Emerging Cities: The Making of New Urbanism. Routledge, 2008. ISBN: 9780415590433. [Preview with Google Books]

Wu, F., J. Xu, and A. G. Yeh. “Post-reform Urban Conditions.” In Urban Development in Post-Reform China: State, Market, and Space. Routledge, 2006. ISBN: 9780415393591. [Preview with Google Books]

2 Is China an Outlier? China’s Urbanization in the Historical and International Contexts

Chen, M., W. Liu, et al. “Evolution and Assessment on China’s Urbanization 1960–2010: Under-Urbanization or Over-Urbanization?Habitat International 38 (2013): 25–33.

Suggested Reading

Trends in Urbanization and Urban Policies in OECD Countries: What Lessons for China?” Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and China Development Research Foundation, 2010.

3 Fundamentals: Hukou and Migration

Wu, W., and P. Gaubatz. “Urban-Rural Divide, Socialist Institutions, and Migration.” Chapter 5 in The Chinese City. Routledge, 2012. ISBN: 9780415575751. [Preview with Google Books]

Chan, K. W. “Urbanization and the Chinese Dream,” Caixin Online, June 13, 2013.

Land Market, Public Finance, Real Estate Development
4 Land-use and Public Finance Institutions in China: An Overview

Man, J. Y., and Y. Hong, eds. “Introduction.” In China’s Local Public Finance in Transition. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2010. ISBN: 9781558442016.

Button, K. J. “The Theory of City Size and Spacing.” Chapter 6 in Urban Economics: Theory and Policy. Palgrave Macmillan, 1976. ISBN: 9780333185957.

Harris, J. R., and M. P. Todaro. “Migration, Unemployment, and Development: A Two-Sector Analysis.” American Economic Review 60, no. 1 (1970): 126–42.

5 Land Quota Market in Chongqing and Chengdu: De-spatialize Land Transfer Hsing, You-tien. Chapters 4, and 7 in The Great Urban Transformation: Politics of Land and Property in China. Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780199568048.
6 Brownfields in Beijing Chemical Plant: How Cities Recycle Industrial Land

Li, X. “Environmental Governance of Brownfields in Deindustrializing Regions: Implications of a Land-Redevelopment Case in China.” Working paper, 2013.

Jenkins, R. R., E. Kopits, et al. “Policy Monitor—The Evolution of Solid and Hazardous Waste Regulation in the United States.” Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 3, no. 1 (2009): 104–20.

7 Integrating the Proposed Property Tax with the Public Leasehold System

Hong, Y., and D. Brubaker. “Integrating the Proposed Property Tax with the PublicLeasehold System.” Chapter 9 in China’s Local Public Finance in Transition. Edited by J. Y. Man, and Y. Hong. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2010. ISBN: 9781558442016.

8–9 Module Summary; Student Presentations for Phase 1: Ideas No assigned readings
Transportation, Economy, Energy, Environment and Technology
10 Dispersion of Urban Agglomeration through High Speed Rail

Banister, D. “Quantification of the Non-Transport Benefits Resulting from Rail Investment.” Transport Study Unit Working Paper Series, 2007.

Fang, W. “Dispersion of Agglomeration through High Speed Rail.” Doctoral Disssertation, MIT, 2013.

Suggested Readings

Evers, G. H. M., P. H. Meer, et al. “Regional Impacts of New Transport Infrastructure: A Multisectoral Potentials Approach.” Transportation 14, no. 2 (1987): 113–26.

Givoni, M. “Development and Impact of the Modern High-speed Train: A Review.” Transport Reviews: A Transnational Transdisciplinary Journal 26, no. 5 (2006): 593–611.

Lakshmanan, T. R. “The Broader Economic Consequences of Transport Infrastructure Investments.” Journal of Transport Geography 19, no. 1 (2011): 1–12.


Managing Car Ownership in Chinese Mega Cities

Zhao, J., T. Chen, et al. “Superficial Fairness of Beijing’sVehicle License Lottery Policy.” Working Paper, 2013.

Chen, T., and J. Zhao. “Bidding to Drive: Car License Auction Policy in Shanghai and Its Public Acceptance.” Transport Policy 27, (2012): 39–52.

Castro, M., and J. Zhao. “Price as a Signal for Policy Fine-tuning A Time-Series Model of Shanghai’s License Auction.” Working paper, 2013.


Costs of Air Pollution: Focusing on its Human Health Damage

Matus, K., K. Nam, et al. “Health Damages from Air Pollution in China.” Global Environmental Change 22, no. 1 (2012): 55–66.

Suggested Reading

Buckley, C. “Silver Lining in China’s Smog as It Puts Focus on Emissions,” New York Times, August 31, 2013.


Advancing Low-Carbon Cities: Pathways through CERC

Tsay, S., and V. Herrmann. “A New Focus for U.S.-China Cooperation: Low-Carbon Cities.” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, July 24, 2013.
14 Module Summary; Student Presentations for Phase 2: Proposals No assigned readings
15 Progress in Energy Efficiency: Technology, Policy and Market in China’s Automobile Sectors

Shu, Y., Y. Yu, et al. “Fuel Consumption and Technological Progress in Chinese Automobile Sector.” (PDF - 1.2MB) Working Paper, 2013.

16 Financing Urban Access: Transportation, Form and Land Grabbing

Zhao, J., D. Block-Schachter, and D. Wang. “Behavioral Impact of the Financing Collection Mechanism on Accessibility: Two Cases from Chinese Cities.” 2013.

17 Understanding and Untangling Complex Urban Issues through Emerging Big Data

No assigned readings

18–19 Module Summary; Student Presentations for Phase 3: Literature

No assigned readings

Social, Cultural and Political
20 Drifting and Getting Stuck: Migrants in Chinese Cities

Wu, W. “Drifting and Getting Stuck: Migrants in Chinese Cities.” City: Analysis of UrbanTrends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action 14, no. 1–2 (2010): 13–24.

21 Urbanization vs. Citizenization: Self-employed Migrants in Wangjingxi Market Eckstein, S. “Urbanization Revisited: Inner-city Slum of Hope and Squatter Settlement of Despair.” Journal of World Development 18, no. 2 (1990): 165–81.
22 Spatial Justice in Affordable Housing Design in Ningbo

Ng, H. “Ningbo Eastern New City Economical Housing.” Architectural Record, China Supplement, April 2008.

Jacobson, C. “Yinzhou Talent Apartments.” Architectural Record, March 2013.

23 Preserving Beijing’s Spatial Tradition in Rapid Urban Development

Mao, Q. “Preservation in the Old City of Beijing: The “Hutong-Courtyard Housing” System.” Ekistics 73 (2006): 436–441.

Suggested Readings

Heikkila, E. “Beijing: Lost in Translation ?” Journal of Architectural and Planning Research 28, no. 1 (2011): 76.

Abramson, D. B. “The Aesthetics of City-Scale Preservation Policy in Beijing.” Planning Perspectives 22, no. 2 (2007): 129–66.

Fengyi, L., and W. Bing. “The Death and the Life of Beijing.” Canadian Social Science 7, no. 3 (2011): 198–201.

The Lost City: Beijing.” Phoenix Satellite Television. Filmakers Library, 2007.

24 Aging Society: Offering Care to the Elderly in the Confucius Society

Retsinas, N. “China: Who Will Care for the Elderly?Urbanland, April 20, 2012.

Fung, E. “Aging China Draws Bets on Senior Housing,” Wall Street Journal, November 5, 2013.

Suggested Reading

Chang, L. T. Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China. Spiegel & Grau, 2009. ISBN: 9780385520188.

25 Forging Greater Xi’an: New Regional Strategies and their Urban Outcomes Jiang, X. “Governing City-regions in China: Theoretical Issues and Perspectives for Regional Strategic Planning.” The Town Planning Review 79, no. 2 (2008): 157–86.
26 Social Housing in China—Explorations, Practices, and Dilemmas No assigned readings
27 Course Summary; Student Presentations for Phase 4: Team Project No assigned readings
Course Info
As Taught In
Fall 2013
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