Urban growth in a rapidly urbanized mega city -Wuhan, P.R.China

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Edition: 1st
DOI: 10.1007/978-4-431-55043-3_16
Chapter Number: 16
Issn: 2198-3542
Publisher: Springer, Editors: R.B. Singh
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Abstract
Wuhan, the largest mega city in central China, is not only a historic and cultural city but also a regional economic, transportation and educational centre. In the past six decades, Wuhan has witnessed massive changes in national and local policies of urbanization and urban development. Its spatial and temporal growth has shaped a representative urban morphology, which is interpretable from socio-economic and spatial processes in each corresponding period. Since 2000, Wuhan has entered a new era of economic boom and started the construction of metro system. However, such rapid urban development has addressed great challenges to local urban planning. After reviewing the process of its urban growth and evaluating the roles of urban planning, this paper aims to analyze the challenging issues in transport, population ageing, migration and environment and ecology. We argue the current local data infrastructure is insufficient to support comprehensive or integrated planning in Wuhan.
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Chapter Title Urban Growth in a Rapidly Urbanized Mega City: Wuhan
Copyright Year 2015
Copyright Holder Springer Japan
Corresponding Author Family Name Cheng
Particle
Given Name Jianquan
Suffix
Organization School of Science and the
Environment, Manchester Metropolitan
University
Address M1 5GD, Manchester, UK
Email j.cheng@mmu.ac.uk
Author Family Name Zhou
Particle
Given Name Jie
Suffix
Organization School of Urban Design, Wuhan
University
Address 8 South Donghu Road, 430072,
Wuhan, China
Abstract Wuhan, the largest mega city in central China, is not only a historic and
cultural city but also a regional economic, transportation and educational
centre. In the past six decades, Wuhan has witnessed massive changes
in national and local policies of urbanization and urban development.
Its spatial and temporal growth has shaped a representative urban
morphology, which is interpretable from socio-economic and spatial
processes in each corresponding period. Since 2000, Wuhan has entered a
new era of economic boom and started the construction of metro system.
However, such rapid urban development has addressed great challenges
to local urban planning. After reviewing the process of its urban growth
and evaluating the roles of urban planning, this paper aims to analyze
the challenging issues in transport, population ageing, migration and
environment and ecology. We argue the current local data infrastructure is
insufficient to support comprehensive or integrated planning in Wuhan.
Keywords
(separated by “-”)
Planning - Transport - Urban growth - Urban morphology
1Chapter 16
2Urban Growth in a Rapidly Urbanized
3Mega City: Wuhan
4Jianquan Cheng and Jie Zhou
5Abstract Wuhan, the largest mega city in central China, is not only a historic and
6cultural city but also a regional economic, transportation and educational centre. In
7the past six decades, Wuhan has witnessed massive changes in national and local
8policies of urbanization and urban development. Its spatial and temporal growth has
9shaped a representative urban morphology, which is interpretable from socio-
10economic and spatial processes in each corresponding period. Since 2000, Wuhan
11has entered a new era of economic boom and started the construction of metro
12system. However, such rapid urban development has addressed great challenges to
13local urban planning. After reviewing the process of its urban growth and evaluat-
14ing the roles of urban planning, this paper aims to analyze the challenging issues in
15transport, population ageing, migration and environment and ecology. We argue the
16current local data infrastructure is insufficient to support comprehensive or inte-
17grated planning in Wuhan.
18Keywords Planning • Transport • Urban growth • Urban morphology
1916.1 Introduction
20The urbanization level, measured as the proportion of urban over total population,
21has reached 50 % in 2010 in China according to the latest 6th population census.
22Rapid urbanization has significantly brought about the massive changes of space in
23city, horizontally and vertically. The process of urban development followed a very
24similar model as urbanization because both were largely determined by the national
25policies in the period.
26Wuhan, first termed in 1927, is situated on the East side of Hubei province as its
27capital (Fig. 16.1). It lies between 113410and 115050East Longitude, and 29580
J. Cheng (*)
School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University,
M1 5GD Manchester, UK
e-mail: j.cheng@mmu.ac.uk
J. Zhou
School of Urban Design, Wuhan University, 8 South Donghu Road, 430072 Wuhan, China
©Springer Japan 2015
R.B. Singh (ed.), Urban Development Challenges, Risks and Resilience
in Asian Mega Cities, DOI 10.1007/978-4-431-55043-3_16
28 to 31220North Latitude. Its topography is dominated by relatively flat land
29 between 22 and 27 m above sea level except the hilly areas sporadically distributed
30 in suburban districts. This region is characterized by typical subtropical monsoon
31 climate and well-marked seasons with cold and dry winter, abundant rainfall
32 (e.g. annual average precipitation is 1,140–1,265 mm), and sunshine in summer.
33 Wuhan has a nickname ‘Water City’ (Jiang Cheng), which is shared with its
34 sister city—Manchester in the UK, as water body takes a high percentage (>20 %)
35 of its territory and because it is located at the middle reaches of Yangtze River
36 which is the third longest river in the world. The whole city is divided into three
37 parts by the Yangtze River and its longest branch—Han River.
38 Wuhan is also a well-known tourism city, including the largest urban lake—
39 Donghu Lake, Guiyuan Temple, a historic building—Yellow Crane Tower
40 (Fig. 16.2a) and traditional Cu Culture. On the top of the Yellow Crane Tower
41 that was first built in 220 AD and fully reconstructed in 1981, the entire landscape of
42 Wuhan city can be overviewed. Hubei is the origin of traditional Cu culture popular
43 in Zhou Dynasty. The well-known bronze concert bell produced in around 450 BC is
44 a typical example of Cu culture displayed in a provincial museum in Wuhan. The
45 sculptures of Cu cultural stories (Fig. 16.2b) are displayed in the Moshan hill, a part
Fig. 16.1 Location of Hubei in China (left) and Wuhan in Hubei (right)
Fig. 16.2 Historic and cultural landscapes in Wuhan ((a) Yellow Crane Tower; (b) traditional
Cu-culture park)
J. Cheng and J. Zhou
46of Donghu Lake. Wuhanise—a local dialect is another cultural landscape of
47Wuhan. In the recent history of China, Wuhan was the origin of democratic
48revolution—turning the Qing Dynasty over in 1911. The historic street in which
49the revolution happened is located in Wuchang, near the Yellow Crane Tower.
50The administrative division of a municipality defines how a variety of demo-
51graphic, social and economic data are registered and reported. The administrative
52units in Chinese cities are stratified as municipality, urban district (or sub-urban
53district and county), sub-district (or town, township and farm) and community
54(or residential committee) (see examples in Cheng et al. 2006). Till the end of
552012, Wuhan municipality, or called Greater Wuhan, is composed of seven urban
56or central districts and six suburban districts (Fig. 16.3).
57The total number of permanent inhabitants of Wuhan municipality is 10.02
58million in 2011 and total area 8,494.41 km
2
. The permanent inhabitant, contrasting
59with floating population, means those who have stayed for more than 6 months.
Fig. 16.3 Wuhan municipality and districts (Source: Han and Wu 2004)
16 Urban Growth in a Rapidly Urbanized Mega City: Wuhan
60 Therefore, the population density of Wuhan municipality is 1,180 people/km
2
in
61 2011, which is much higher than 882 people/km
2
in 2000. As a result, Wuhan is a
62 typical mega city in central China (Fig. 16.4).
63 After this introduction, Sect. 16.2 aims to review the urban development in the
64 three periods: pre-1949, post-1949 and post-2000. Section 16.3 is focused on
65 several master plans implemented during the periods and their impacts on urban
66 growth. Section 16.4 tends to address the main challenges to local urban planning.
67 The chapter ends with a general conclusion.
68 16.2 Wuhan Urban Development
69 16.2.1 Pre-1949
70 To be consistent with the division of Chinese development history, the pre-1949
71 period is called “recent times” and the post-1949 period “contemporary age”.
72 Historically, the three towns of Wuhan were constructed and configured in different
73 dynasties. The first town—Wuchang named as ‘Jiangxia’ occurred some
74 1,600 years ago. The second town—Hanyang was founded around a castle that
75 was built during the Han Dynasty (206 BC–222 AD). The third one—Hankou began
76 during the period of the South–north Dynasties (420–589 AD) and the area was
77 situated next to Hanyang before the Han River changed its course during the Ming
78 Dynasty (1368–1644 AD), separating it from Hanyang. By the thirteenth century,
Fig. 16.4 Wuhan Landscape (Source:www.baidu.com)
J. Cheng and J. Zhou
79Wuchang and Hanyang had been developed into commercial and handicraft towns.
80Since 1700s, Hankou had been already a major inland river trading port.
81Wuhan was only a city ‘along the Han River’ before 1840, but became a city
82‘along the Yangtze River’ later. This transition was a result of the opening to the
83world after 1840, which converted the city into a centre of not only domestic but
84also international trade due to its convenient water and ground transportation
85systems with good connections to the surrounding areas. In 1905, Wuhan had
86“114 foreign firms, 8 local banks and 9 foreign bank branches” (Zeng and Cai
872002, p. 360). The three towns were functioned as the centers of commercial and
88trade, industry and transportation in order. The output values in trade and industry
89took the third~fifth and the second~fouth places respectively among all the large-
90sized Chinese cities in that period (Pi 1996). Particularly, Hankou town had become
91one of the four largest commercial towns across China since 1570s.
92Since 1900, the three towns had been developed into functionally different
93centres, i.e. Hankou for commercial, financial, trade, transportation, service, enter-
94tainment, and information; Wuchang for institutional and educational activities;
95and Hanyang for steel and machinery industry. During the period 1840–1949, the
96population of the three towns had increased from 0.2 to 1.2 million and the city area
97including the suburban areas had expanded from 20 to 941 km
2
. By the mid-1920s,
98the production capacity accounted for 13.67 % of the national total, ranking the
99second in China, next to Shanghai (Yuan and Yin 1997), and this ranking position
100also applies to population density (Pi 1996).
10116.2.2 Post-1949
102Since the Chinese communist party came into power in 1949, there have been
103numerous political, socio-economic and cultural reforms, nationally and locally, in
104the past eight decades, which have had unprecedented impacts on the urban
105development of Wuhan city, as other mega-cities in China did. There are several
106models describing the urban morphology of Chinese cities during this period. For
107example, Zhang (2008) split the urbanization process of China into six stages: short
108but rapid expansion (1945–1957), fluctuation (1958–1966), stagnant (1967–1977),
109recovery (1978–1985), townization (1986–1995) and long expansion (1996-
110present). Wu‘s model (1998) represents a universal process of urban growth in
111China, despite its origin from the case of Guangzhou city. The Chinese city of the
1121949–1976 era sprawled outwards rather than upwards. The construction of large
113numbers of high-rise buildings in the 1980s and 1990s, particularly in commercial
114sector, has come to symbolise the transformation of China’s cities.
115It was estimated that the urban built-up areas of Wuhan city grow tenfold
116between 1955 and 2000 (Cheng 2011). The spatial patterns of temporal urban
117growth from 1955 to 2000 shown in Fig. 16.5 have many indications. First of all,
118the urban growth of this period was characterized by spreading outward from the
119Yangtze River and from a discontinuous (sprawling) to a continuous (compact)
120pattern. Secondly, the urban growth 1955–1965 was dominated by leap forward
16 Urban Growth in a Rapidly Urbanized Mega City: Wuhan
121 development slightly along the rivers. Thirdly, the urban growth 1965–1993 was
122 dominated by infill development mostly along main roads and slightly along rivers.
123 Fourthly, the urban growth 1993–2000 was dominated by outward expansion from
124 traditional industrial centres, mixing with continuous compact development. To
125 understand better the spatial patterns of the temporal urban growth in Wuhan, it is
126 necessary to explore the process of urban development and relevant national and
127 local policies. The governmental policies in the period from 1949 to 2010 can be
128 referred to the paper by Zhou et al. (2013).
Fig. 16.5 Temporal urban growth of Wuhan 1955–2000
J. Cheng and J. Zhou
129The first wave of large-scale urban development projects was initiated in 1953
130that was the starting year of the first ‘five-year plan’ (1953–1957). Due to its historic
131position in China, Wuhan was designated by the central government as one of few
132key heavy industrial cities which were able to receive considerable national invest-
133ment. The key industry and infrastructure projects that were constructed fully or
134partially during the period includes the well-known Wuhan Iron and Steel Com-
135pany, Wuhan Heavy Lathe Plant, Qingshan Thermoelectric Plant, Wuhan Boiler
136Plant and the (first) Road-Rail Bridge over the Yangtze River. More than ten new
137universities including the famous Huazhong (meaning Central China) University of
138Science and Technology were founded then. Consequently, Wuhan had become a
139heavy industrial city and a centre of education and scientific research since then.
140Meanwhile, a large-scale of clustered residential units were built up by diverse
141work units (e.g. university, government and factories) to serve their employees. In
142total, Wuhan received 136.92 million RMB Yuan in these 5 years, accounting for
14328.6 % of the total investment across China (Han and Wu 2004).
144During the period of second ‘five-year’ plan (1958–1962), China proposed the
145notorious industrial campaign called ‘The Great Leap Forward’. Required by the
146political movement, Wuhan city made an ambitious industrial development scheme
147in which some 200 new projects were planned to be completed within 5 years.
148However, the shortage of construction capital had eventually reduced the scheme
149down to 12 industrial zones (Fig. 16.6) and each of which had occupied a large area
150because the land was freely allocated to state-owned factories in that period.
Fig. 16.6 Industrial clusters and railway lines before 1978
16 Urban Growth in a Rapidly Urbanized Mega City: Wuhan
151 After 1965 the state shifted its industrial development from large inland cities to
152 middle and small sized cities located in remote mountain areas (e.g. Sichuan,
153 Guangxi and Yunnan) for the purpose of national military defence. As no invest-
154 ments were available from the central government, the process of Wuhan urban
155 development slowed down. Further, disturbed by the 10-year “Cultural Revolution”
156 (1966–1976), the construction was dominated by small-scale local industrial pro-
157 jects which were principally invested by the municipality and other lower level of
158 administrative organizations. Land development was restricted in sporadic area
159 (“Jian Feng Cha Zhen” in Chinese). Equally, as the development emphasis was put
160 “first on production, second on living”, the house construction had almost been
161 stopped since 1958. Until 1975, the 12 industrial zones had been filled in
162 completely and had created approximately 279,000 jobs. In 1981, Wuhan was
163 China’s fourth largest industrial centre, next to Shanghai, Beijing, and Tianjin
164 (Liu 2000). These industrial zones were tightly connected by railway lines to
165 warehouses, railway stations and harbours (Fig. 16.6).
166 After the economic reform, Wuhan was open to the World in 1980 and, again,
167 one of the pioneering cities with economic system reform in 1984 through the
168 “single planning city system” which made the city directly responsible to the
169 central government. Stimulated by these policies, Wuhan proposed the plans of
170 the Donghu New High-Technology Development Zone (also known as “China’s
171 Optics Valley now) in Wuhan” in 1984 and the (Zuankou) Wuhan Economic and
172 Technology Development Zone in 1985, for the purpose of attracting foreign direct
173 investment and promoting local economic and urban development. These plans
174 were approved by the State Council in1990 and the construction of the two zones
175 was started in 1993. However, in the 1980s, as the state investment was still shifted
176 to and focused on coastal cities with more preferential policies, Wuhan urban
177 development was much slower than open coastal cities or Special Economic
178 Development Zone such as Shenzhen. This is because that China’s economic
179 reform is characterized by spatial or regional imbalance.
180 The land reform in 1987 was a propeller for the second wave of rapid growth of
181 Chinese cities (the first one occurred in the period from 1953 to 1958). Wuhan
182 implemented its land reform policy in 1992 after the historically significant Mr
183 Deng’s Tour to South China in the same year. Particularly, Deng Xiaoping’s policy
184 of the ‘Three Alongs’ (developing economic hubs along China’s border, along the
185 coast and along the Yangtze River), offered Wuhan new opportunities of economic
186 take-off. Since then, Wuhan has entered a new era of urban development charac-
187 terized by the construction of large-scale projects of new development zones,
188 infrastructure and redevelopment in inner city. Except the two development zones
189 (Donghu and Zuankou), the well-known projects include Tianhe international
190 airport (use in 1995), Qingshan trading pier, and the second (use in 1995) and
191 third bridge (2000) over the Yangtze River.
192 The spatial patterns of the temporal urban growth in the period 1955–2000
193 were jointly determined by many spatial (proximity to rivers, main roads and
194 city centres), administration (e.g. sub-district or town), and planning control
J. Cheng and J. Zhou
195factors (details can be referred to Cheng and Masser 2003; Cheng 2011). The urban
196expansion was simultaneously mixed with urban redevelopment occurring in the
197inner city as pushed by the real estate market.
19816.2.3 Post-2000
199Generally, 2000 is a fourth turning point of China’s urban development (Zhou
200et al. 2013) when urbanization was promoted as a national strategy. The spatial
201patterns of residential and commercial land uses shown in Fig. 16.7 imply there is
202no significant change of urban form from 2000 to 2006. This is because there have
203been more vertical instead of horizontal development.
204In 2007, an urban network development strategy proposed by Wuhan munici-
205pality was approved by the State Council. The urban network is centred on Wuhan
206city with the inclusion of other nine cities that are all located with 100 km distance
207from Wuhan. The total population within the network is 31.1462 million in 2010
208and its total area 5,780,000 km
2
. It is an emerging urban cluster (or called urban
209circle in Chinese) in China following the Bohai Rim, the Yangtze River Delta, and
210Pearl River Delta. Wuhan municipality is also approved as a comprehensive reform
211pilot area of resource-saving and environment-friendly society in 2007. Thus,
212building a resource-efficient and environmentally- friendly eco-city has become a
213new aim for the spatial development strategy in Wuhan.
Fig. 16.7 Residential and commercial land uses in 2006
16 Urban Growth in a Rapidly Urbanized Mega City: Wuhan
214 It is well-recognized that transport infrastructure has been taking important roles
215 in stimulating economic development in China. Before 1987, the railway system
216 was the dominant transport infrastructure connecting factories and warehouses with
217 harbours and stations (Fig. 16.6). As a riverside city, the bridges over Yangtze and
218 Han Rivers particularly have made great contributions to transport mobility and
219 urban forms. There are five new road or rail or road-rail bridges (Junshan,
220 Baishazhou, Erqi, Tianxingzhou and Yangluo) over Yangtze River, completed
221 from 2000 to 2012. These, together with the first and second bridges in use before
222 1995, have facilitated the connection between city centres and suburban areas
223 within the municipality by the functional inner, second and outer rings across the
224 municipality (Fig. 16.8).
225 There are also seven bridges over Han River, connecting the three towns
226 efficiently. As a mega-city with high density of population and employment, a
227 metro system is very imperative for commuting and other urban services. Since
228 2004, Wuhan has entered an era of metro system development. Its first metro line
229 (No:1) located in Hankou was put into use in late 2004, followed by the second and
230 third lines (No:2 and 4) operated in 2013, which connect Hankou with Wuchang
231 through a tunnel under the Yangtze River. To match with its long-term develop-
232 ment strategy, Wuhan municipality has planned to construct ten lines of metro
233 with a total length of 292 km by 2020. Undoubtedly, the provision of multi-
234 hierarchical transport system would remarkably improve urban transport accessi-
235 bility and reshape its urban form. Compared with other provincial capital cities,
Fig. 16.8 Transport infrastructure of Wuhan city in 2011
J. Cheng and J. Zhou
236Wuhan is one of the three provincial capital cities with the rapidest decrease of
237compactness degree in the period from 1990 to 2010, dropping from 0.45 in 1990 to
2380.12 in 2010 (Pan and Han 2013).
239There are three state-level economic and technological development zones in
240Wuhan: Donghu, Zunkou and Wujiashan. The Donghu Hi-Tech Development Zone
241(Fig. 16.9) focus on optical and electronic communications, bioengineering, mate-
242rial research and laser technologies, while the Wuhan Economic and Technological
243Development Zone at Zunkou emphasizes on the production of automobiles and
244spare parts, food and beverages. Similarly, the Wujiashan Industry Development
245Park puts emphasis on food and beverages; in addition, it also focuses on agricul-
246tural products for further processing, and bioengineering. Together, these three
247Development Zones in Wuhan play a critical role in its economic development and
248urban growth.
249Nominal GDP has increased by five times from 134.8 billion RMB Yuan in 2001
250to 676.2 billion RMB Yuan in 2011. Wuhan’s total investments in fixed assets have
251surged by 8.8 times from 49 billion RMB Yuan in 2001 to 426 billion RMB Yuan in
2522011. The fastest growth occurred in 2008 with a rate of 26 % relative to the
253previous years. Figure 16.8 also has revealed that numerous major roads and
254bridges were constructed after 2007. The total real estate investment for residential
255housing is 73.73138 billion RMB Yuan in 2010, contrasting with 6.76933 billion
256RMB Yuan in 2001. The residential land uses in 1994 and 2006 shown in Fig. 16.10
257indicate different spatial patterns. The total residential area is 131.60 km
2
in 2006
258and 51.14 km
2
in 1994.
Fig. 16.9 Donghu high-tech new development zone (Source:www.baidu.com)
16 Urban Growth in a Rapidly Urbanized Mega City: Wuhan
259 16.3 Urban Planning and Its Impacts
260 Since 1949, Wuhan city has designed and revised five master plans in total in 1954,
261 1982, 1988, 1996 and 2009 respectively (Fig. 16.11). The land use classifications in
262 the master plans have been evolving in this period. From 1954 to 1982, the main
263 urban land uses were industrial, warehouse, residential, universities/schools, and
264 green areas. In 1988, the classes included industrial, warehouse, residential, com-
265 mercial/trade, universities, and green areas. In 1996 the classification was updated
266 with low-density residential, commercial and residential, commercial, banking and
267 trade, offices, education and research, culture, hospital and recreation, green areas,
268 industrial, warehouse, external transportation, railway, infrastructure, waters. Local
269 land use classification used before 1992 was not uniformed nationally and
270 underwent many modifications. The National Land Use Standard Classification
271 (NLUSC) is promoted in China since 1992. It has 10 major classes, 46 groups and
272 73 subgroups. These modifications indicate a shift of urban development from
273 industry-oriented to tertiary-oriented as more detailed sub-classes related to tertiary
274 sector are added into the new classification.
275 Urban planning before 1989 was focused on the coordination of industrial
276 projects (Yeh and Wu 1999) and the tasks of planning was to project the national
277 and local urban development policies into free land. The Urban Planning Act
278 enacted in 1989 is a major milestone in the history of urban planning system in
279 China. The planners are authorized by law to investigate the spatial and temporal
Fig. 16.10 Residential land uses in 1994 and 2006
J. Cheng and J. Zhou
Fig. 16.11 Master plans of Wuhan in 1954, 1996 and 2009
16 Urban Growth in a Rapidly Urbanized Mega City: Wuhan
280 matches between constructions and plan schemes. New or re-development projects
281 are required to go through a legal and formal process of applying certain planning
282 permit and building permit. This makes the development control become possible
283 on both scales: new-development in the fringe and re-development in inner city
284 (Tian and Shen 2011).
285 In the new Law of the People’s Republic of China on Urban and Rural Planning
286 promulgated in January 2008, the words “strictly control the size of large cities”
287 were replaced by “the coordinated development of large, medium and small-sized
288 cities and small towns” (Zhou et al. 2013). This has stimulated the emergence of
289 urban networks and particularly the Wuhan urban circle. Urban planning has been
290 systematically integrated with regional planning. Cheng et al. (2006) have evalu-
291 ated and compared the impacts of urban planning (master plan) on the temporal
292 urban growth between the two periods 1955–1965 and 1986–2000. The plans were
293 implemented in 1954 and 1988 respectively. Their analysis shows that the spatial
294 match between urban growth and master plan is 17 % in the period 1986–2000 and
295 24 % in the period 1955–1965 (Fig. 16.12a, b). The different percentages suggest
296 that master planning under a market economy (1988–2000) exerted less control
297 over urban expansion. The spatial match between the residential land use in 2006
298 and the residential land use in the master plan of 2009 is 38 % (Fig. 16.12c). Many
299 reasons have contributed to this consequence. Local government intervened with
300 the land and housing markets, leading to the majority of land transactions being
301 made under ‘agreement’ rather than according to the free market price. The
302 co-existence of a free market price and an institutionally arranged price in the
303 transaction of land is usually known as the dual land market. The dual land system
304 leads to some confliction with urban planning (Yeh and Wu 1999). To attract
305 foreign investors, local government of ten relax development control and simplify
306 permit application procedures (Wu 1998). As a result, the planning authority is
307 often in a rather passive position.
308 16.4 New Challenges
309 Wuhan, as the largest mega city in central China, has achieved rapid economic and
310 urban development in the past decades. With the increasing complexity of the urban
311 system, the current urban planning is facing many new theoretical, methodological
312 and practical challenges, which are never addressed by the former planning systems
313 under a command economy.
314 16.4.1 Transport
315 Being the hubs of high-speed and other railway systems, the interactions between
316 Wuhan and other mega cities in the Yangtze and Pearl Deltas, such as flows of
J. Cheng and J. Zhou
Fig. 16.12 Assessing the impacts of master plan (a): growth 1955–1965 and plan in 1954;
(b) Growth 1993–2000 and plan in 1988 and (c) residential land uses in 2006 and planed
residential land use in 1996
16 Urban Growth in a Rapidly Urbanized Mega City: Wuhan
317 goods and people, have been greatly enhanced. Within the municipality, the metro
318 system, river bridges and tunnels, and ring roads have effectively improved the
319 connectivity between the three towns. The improvement of various accessibility
320 indicators (e.g. employment, services and facilities) across the city has efficiently
321 increased the land and housing values and accordingly the real estate market has
322 been stimulated considerably. Zhang and Wang (2013) have confirmed that invest-
323 ments in mass transit can have significant and positive impacts on land development
324 through a case study of Beijing. The focus of traditional planning method should be
325 shifted from on proximity analysis to on accessibility analysis and the latter is
326 aimed to provide sustainable and equal access to a variety of opportunities among
327 diverse groups. AU1Cheng et al. (2013a,b) proposed an accessibility-based view of
328 urban form or urban network, which outperforms the traditional node and density-
329 based views, by taking a case study of Amsterdam. Commuting is the most frequent
330 travel of urban working groups. Huang et al. (2013) estimated that the average
331 travel distance of family head for working is 6.32 km in Wuhan, based on a sample
332 of 1,194 surveys conducted in the end of 2010. Job accessibility, as the interface
333 between transport, worker and job systems, can simulate the complex spatial and
334 social interactions between the three systems and particularly the impacts of
335 transport infrastructure on urban form (Cheng and Berterloni 2013). Consequently,
336 accessibility planning needs to be integrated into process of urban planning partic-
337 ularly in a rapidly growing mega city.
338 16.4.2 Population Ageing
339 It is estimated that China’s aging population will increase at a rate of 5.96 million/
340 year from 2001 to 2020 and then 6.2 million/year from 2021 to 2050, and is
341 expected to exceed 400 million by 2050, accounting for 30 % of its total population
342 (AU2Cusp 2010). Same as other cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou,
343 Wuhan has also entered the era of population ageing. By the end of 2011, the
344 proportion of the elderly (aged 60 and above) over the total population is 15.96 %,
345 among which 10 % is over 80 years old (Gilroy 2012). Figure 16.13a shows the
Fig. 16.13 Spatial distributions of ageing population (left) and healthcare facilities (right)
J. Cheng and J. Zhou
346spatial distribution of communities with greater than 15 % of ageing population
347(aged 65 or older) based on the 2010 population census data, covering all the urban
348districts. The communities with the highest percentages are mostly located away
349from city centre. Figure 16.13b exhibits the spatial distribution of healthcare
350facilities measured as number of beds available surveyed in 2012 (Xie 2012).
351Comparing the two maps, there is a mismatch between the ageing population and
352provision of healthcare facilities. Gilroy (2012) argued that the large-scale urban
353renewal in Wuhan has demolished many neighbourhoods and there is a need in
354planning practice to recognize the role of place and community as a locale for the
355well-being of older people. To build an age-friendly city and healthy community,
356space demand of elderly people and their interactions with others should be
357considered in the process of urban planning at varied levels.
35816.4.3 Environment and Ecology
359Both the central and local governments have raised concerns about increasingly
360worsening environmental issues such as air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution
361and climate change. As a traditional and modern industrial city, Wuhan has been
362experiencing massive environmental and ecological changes. Firstly, air quality has
363been decreasing across China due to rapid industrialization and motorization.
364Recently the prevailing smog present in many cities is one of numerous strong
365evidences. Feng et al. (2011) analyzed the spatial and temporal variations of PM10
366in the period from January 2006 to December 2008 based on the monitoring of
367sampled nine sites evenly distributed across Wuhan city. They concluded that air
368quality is not only very poor, reaching a certain alert level but also has a very
369regular temporal pattern: poorer in winter and spring than in summer. The main
370local pollution sources include industrial and residential coal burning, automobiles,
371road dust, and dust from city construction projects. Secondly, as a water city,
372Wuhan is proud of abundant water resources within city and drinking water was
373available for local residents from the largest Donghu Lake even in 1980s. However,
374all the water bodies within the central districts have been polluted heavily since
3752000. Yang et al. (2011) analyzed a 100-year record of polycyclic aromatic
376hydrocarbons (PAH) collected from the Donghu Lake and found that the levels of
377PAHs, especially the high-molecular-weight carcinogenic PAHs, increased rapidly
378and reached the highest value in recent years due to rapid industrialization occur-
379ring in Wuhan. Thirdly, more and more pollutants in soil have been detected and
380measured in previously industrial sites. Cheng et al. (2013a,b) provide an up-to-
381date assessment of the trace metal contamination (As, Cd, Cr, Cu. Hg, Ni, Pb, Sb,
382Se, and Zn) in urban soils of 31 metropolises in China. They found Wuhan is
383categorized as a slight pollution level in terms of degree of contamination with trace
384metals and with a total area of contamination computed as 108 km
2
.
385Large-scale urban growth and real estate development have filled in numerous
386lakes and ponds. Du et al. (2010) revealed that rapid urban expansion in Wuhan has
16 Urban Growth in a Rapidly Urbanized Mega City: Wuhan
387 significantly led to the size reduction, disappearance and pollution of surface water
388 body. Xu et al. (2010) concluded that the natural wetland area—lake and marsh
389 wetlands decreased by 18.71 and 50.3 % from 1987 to 2005, respectively and
390 natural, societal, and economic, as well as human, activities are major factors for
391 the structural changes in the Wuhan wetland landscape. Li et al. (2010) predicted
392 the total urban ecological footprint of Wuhan city in the period from 2006 to 2015
393 and found that Wuhan’s ecological footprint continuously exceeded its
394 bio-capacity. They argued that the conflict between the people and the land will
395 become highly tense and the city will be in a state of unsustainable development in
396 the next 10 years.
397 As Yangtze and Han Rivers go through the city, Wuhan has encountered heavy
398 flooding several times in its history, such as the recent large-scale flooding in 1931
399 and 1998. Particularly the flooding occurred in 1998 caused 1,183 factories to close,
400 with a total loss of about 570 million RMB Yuan (Wu 2002). Wuhan has been one
401 of several ‘fire stoves’ cities in China due to its very high temperature in summer.
402 Undoubtedly, the future impacts of likely climate change should be considered in
403 the process of urban planning. In some developed countries (e.g. UK), climate
404 change has been embedded into local planning practice (e.g. Manchester) although
405 adaptation appears at present to be a relatively low priority issue for city planners
406 and governors (Carter 2011).
407 16.4.4 Migration
408 Internal migration across China has been the largest flow of people in the history of
409 human being (Cheng et al. 2014). The total number of internal migrants in China
410 has reached 211 million in 2010. It has been well recognized that these migrants
411 have made great contributions to China’s and local economic boom particularly to
412 manufacturing, construction and service industries but they also have created
413 massive burden to local carrying capacity including housing, environment and
414 facility. Same as developed country (e.g. UK and Germany), there is an
415 un-answered popular question—how these migrants can be better spatially, socially
416 and culturally integrated into local society? Wang and Fan (2012) conducted a pilot
417 study on socio-economic and cultural integration of rural-to-urban migrants in
418 Wuhan and concluded that Hukou is still a crucial institutional barrier to the
419 integration. Most of these migrants live in urban villages because the rent price in
420 urban villages is much lower than that in other places. Urban village is defined as
421 communities that are situated in the areas governed by the master plan, but still with
422 the collective ownership and under rural administration. Simply speaking, it is a
423 village in a city. It is estimated that there are 147 urban villages and 15 agricultural
424 units in Wuhan and among which 117 urban villages are located within the latest
425 master plan boundary. It has been proven that urban village as a special landscape
426 (Fig. 16.14) has numerous negative impacts: economic, social and environmental.
427 Economically, it will lead to inefficient use of the urban land, reduced values of the
J. Cheng and J. Zhou
428properties around, and passive use of urban space. Socially, it will cause problems
429of public security (home of low-income residents and sometimes criminals), insuf-
430ficient guaranty in social security that may cause instability of surrounding urban
431communities. Environmentally, it produce ugly scenes in urban areas and pollutions
432from overcrowd population and insufficient utilities. It is reported that urban
433villages occupy 22,458.9 ha in 2006. There is a challenge for local planners: how
434to redevelop these areas and how to integrate these migrants?
43516.4.5 Integrated Planning and Information Requirement
436From a systematic point of view, Chinese mega cities are not only growing larger and
437larger but also the interactions among urban political, social, economic, cultural and
438environmental components are becoming more and more complicated (Cheng 1999).
439The urban system is increasingly unpredictable due to numerous stochastic and
440chaotic processes resulting from these dynamic interactions and also the external
441environment such as globalization. As a result, traditional planning methods need to
442adapt to the fast changing environment. Planners in the master plan or blueprint era
443saw planning as mainly concerned with the production of plans, very physically
444oriented. The existing master plan has no phasing related to the implementation of its
445policies, and it is more like a physical design instead of a comprehensive plan (Tian
446and Shen 2011). The examination and approval of a city master plan sometimes take
447nearly a decade and this will lead to the failure of reflecting the changing environ-
448ments: planning always lags behind development or construction. First, there is an
449increasing trend of comprehensive planning in China with more socio-economic and
Fig. 16.14 A urban village located in the central part of Wuchang
16 Urban Growth in a Rapidly Urbanized Mega City: Wuhan
450 environmental factors considered. However, the current comprehensive plan is a
451 static output, lacking the consideration of dynamic interactions (e.g. transport and
452 land use). One of many reasons might be insufficient information support for plan-
453 making at various stages (Cheng et al.2006). Though geospatial technology has been
454 developing fast and extensively applied for Chinese mega cities, its data infrastruc-
455 ture particularly data integration, data sharing and data dissemination are still less
456 developed. Without the availability of all the required information, it would be
457 impossible to develop integrated planning support models for analyzing, modelling,
458 simulating and evaluating the problems, patterns, processes, behaviours and policies
459 across a variety of spatial, temporal and decision making scales (Cheng and Masser
460 2004). Second, among the four coexisting styles abstracted from American planning
461 practices by Innes and Gruber (2005): technical/bureaucratic, political influence,
462 social movement, and collaborative; or in other practical terms: planning with
463 engineers, planning with/for politicians, planning for the public and planning with
464 the public, Chinese urban planning is more dominated by the first two styles. Market
465 economy has created multiple actors involved with urban development—such as
466 investors, developers, engineers, planers and residents but the current political system
467 and traditional culture have not created an appropriate atmosphere for effective
468 public participation as the western countries are practicing such as a public partici-
469 pation GIS application for urban design in the UK (Cinderby 2010).
470 16.5 Conclusion
471 Wuhan, the largest mega city in Central China, has been experiencing massive
472 urban growth since 1950 and its urban morphology has undertaken significant
473 changes including leap-frog sprawl, infill development, and river/road–along
474 expansion to transport infrastructure-induced development. As a historic and indus-
475 trial city, transport infrastructure (rivers, main roads, bridges and metro system)
476 have taken and will take crucial roles in shaping its urban forms in a variety of
477 periods. However, rapid economic and industrial development without proper
478 urban planning has addressed many challenges for urban planning including trans-
479 port, environment and ecology, and population and migration. A comprehensive
480 planning method based on information support and public participation is needed to
481 reflect the fast changing environment, consider the dynamic interactions of the
482 urban system and integrate opinions from multiple actors.
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