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Urban Competitiveness and Regional City-To-City Cooperation in the Yangtze River Delta Region

A Case Study of Joint Development Zones



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Urban Competitiveness and Regional City-To-City Cooperation in the Yangtze River Delta Region by Shi Xian
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This dissertation, "Urban Competitiveness and Regional City-to-city Cooperation in the Yangtze River Delta Region: a Case Study of Joint Development Zones" by Shi, Xian, 线实, was obtained from The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong) and is being sold pursuant to Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License. The content of this dissertation has not been altered in any way. We have altered the formatting in order to facilitate the ease of printing and reading of the dissertation. All rights not granted by the above license are retained by the author. Abstract: With the rise of cities as geographical units, there have been a growing number of municipal partnerships and networks. Government-led intercity cooperation at regional scale-regional city-to-city (C2C) cooperation booms in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region in the last two decades. Urban competitiveness is a concept tied to intercity competition that decides the relative position of cities in urban ranking. In regional C2C cooperation, urban competitiveness serves as the asset of partner-cities and usually as one of the primary targets of the cooperation. However, there is a general lack of studies on the influence of urban competitiveness on regional C2C cooperation. The introduction of the perspective of urban competitiveness is an approach of developing a comprehensive framework connecting factors of regional C2C cooperation. The objective of this research is to analyze the influence of urban competitiveness on regional C2C cooperation in China's local context. In this study, the added value of regional C2C cooperation is divided into added value of urban competitiveness and political added value brought by intervention from upper-level governments. Three typology of C2C cooperation (i.e. hybrid, hierarchical and spontaneous) have been identified. Three cases in the YRD region including the Jiangyin-Jingjiang Industrial Park of Jiangsu Province, Suzhou-Suqian Industrial Park, and Shanghai Caohejing Hi-Tech Park Haining Sub-park are selected for case studies accordingly. This study indicates that urban competitiveness and government intervention are crucial to regional C2C cooperation. Urban competitiveness is essential in regional C2C partnership maintenance, while intervention from upper-level governments is effective and efficient in strategy formulation and partner selection. The measurement of urban competitiveness in the YRD region in 2002, 2005, and 2008 indicates the partner-city with relatively larger urban competitiveness is more likely to assume a leading role in the C2C partnership. Noticeably, it is found that the intervention from the provincial government tends to consolidate such impact. The measurement also reveals that urban competitiveness in the YRD region is transforming from an investment-driven stage to an innovation- and human capital-driven stage. Noticeably, the increasing weighting of basic factors in the building of urban competitiveness found in the YRD region is hard to be explained by the mainstream urban competitive advantage theories. Therefore, a localization of the theories is advocated by this research. Imprints of China's local context transpire in the three cases, including economic decentralization and simultaneous political centralization. The role of provincial government is weakened in China's political restructuring. However, revealed by the case studies, intervention from provincial government to regional C2C cooperation is still observed to be effective in terms of strategy formulation and negotiation. With the rise of public-private partnership focusing on investment and economic growth, as well as strong government intervention in regional C2C cooperation, the three cases reflect China's urban entrepreneurialism. Furthermore, a recent shift in China's urban entrepreneurialism has been found in the region, which is the increasing emphasis on environmental care for sustainable
Release date NZ
January 26th, 2017
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Country of Publication
United States
colour illustrations
Open Dissertation Press
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