Impacts of land finance on urban sprawl in China: The case of 106 mega cities

Authors: Tong Wu*,
Topics: China
Keywords: City sprawl, Land finance, Mega cities, Land market
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Senate Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban sprawl has attracted continuous attentions from various scholars over the world since the 1970s. While in China, we extensively regard insuffient and uneven land policy reform as the key cause to urban sprawl. Since the tax-sharing system reform, local governments play a crucial aggressive role in grabing land revenues to finance their urban expansion for the aim of local economic growth. Therefore, it is significant to deepen the understanding of the urban sprawl process in China by exploring the interaction between urban sprawl and land financing. This study proposed a conceptual framework to demonstrate the work flows of land financial incentives on urban sprawl in China. Our hypothesis is that the more depends of urban development on land finance, the more severe urban sprawl. We did an empirical analysis by taking 106 China mega cities and found that some local governments have heavily relied on land finance through the proactive approach of land leasing. What they did has caused the oversupply of underpriced industrial land and fierce competition on slicing the pie of land finance through formal and informal means, furthermore causing severe urban sprawl. Although several policies to control urban sprawl have been employed in some cities, such as Chongqing, their performance appears to ineffective. The final result confirmed the hypothesis and put forward the related policies to control urban sprawl.

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