Multilevel governance framework for low-carbon development in urban China: A case study of Hongqiao Business District, Shanghai

Mark Baker, Bing Sun

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Abstract

In the context of proliferating urban climate initiatives in China, a more fundamental understanding of governance innovation and implementation is essential. Existing literature tends to overlook the critical examination into governance and give sufficient consideration to the Chinese context. This article develops a conceptual framework on low-carbon governance and implementation in urban China, drawing upon a Multi-Level Governance (MLG) perspective, a policy-dimensional framework, and a mobilities approach. A case study of Hongqiao Business District, Shanghai, is used to illustrate the framework's application and to establish an overall low-carbon MLG picture with new insights from empirical evidence. The case study follows a mixed use of data collection methods, consisting of semi-structured interviews, documentary analysis and sites visits and observations. As the case study demonstrates, low-carbon development in Hongqiao has greatly benefited from the early stages of legalisation and multi-level governance innovations (such as regulatory governance, enabling governance, and governance through provision). The perspective of authority relations provides attention to hierarchical levels of government but also examine scales across territorial and administrative boundaries more flexibly. Low-carbon strategy development and implementation are found to involve both traditional policy- making channels and informal governance spaces, with actors playing different roles. Beyond academia, the research findings are helpful to accelerating the sharing and up-scaling of knowledge based around an in-depth examination of a high-profile ‘low carbon’ district in China.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103405
Number of pages12
JournalCities
Volume119
Early online date10 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Governance modes Low-carbon Hongqiao Business District Multi-level governance Authority relations, the mobilities approach
  • Hongqiao Business District
  • Governance modes
  • Multi-level governance
  • Authority relations, the mobilities approach
  • Low-carbon

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