This article offers a conceptual framework for understanding the changing urban structure in China and those factors driving that change based on a review of the literature. We ground this conceptualization using a representative case study. We devise a dynamic model based on research
in Guangzhou that conceptualizes recent urban spatial change as an evolutionary process involving four stages. The major contribution of this model is that it represents a periodized chronology in which real time is divided into analytically-defined stages linked to policy and other shifts.
We discuss each stage within the context of our conceptual framework by addressing the role of shifts in institutional framework; economic and urban policy and planning; and economic structure and investment. We conclude by digging beneath certain superficial similarities in metropolitan regions
worldwide as they evolve from simple to complicated forms amid globalization to reveal fundamental differences within China that have important policy implications.
Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.
Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.
The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.