The dynamics between urban planning and public policy: lessons and experiences from the city of Beijing, China

Dongquan Li, G. Zhiyong Lan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Urban planning in China, as well as in many other countries, is viewed as a distinctive governmental function, making strategic and land-use plans for urban development. In recent decades, the urbanization process has intensified, especially in densely populated countries in Asia. Urban centers have often grown faster than the planners’ wildest imagination, creating an enormous amount of urban problems, such as congestion, traffic jams, infrastructure shortfalls, service inconveniences, and pollution. By reviewing the dynamics between urban planning models and urban development policy issues and priorities in Beijing, China’s mega-capital city, this article demonstrates the importance of viewing urban planning as an essential component of public policy and the importance of striving for the better integration of planning and urban governance. The planning profession itself also needs to be innovated to enable domestic and international learning, to embrace planners with varying disciplinary backgrounds, and to use new and open planning methods. Only by so doing can planning truly lead to an urban formation of enduring utility, aesthetic beauty, and spatial justice that can offer a constantly refreshing urban experience.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)721-738
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational Review of Administrative Sciences
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Sep 2022


    • Beijing urban planning
    • dynamics between urban planning and public policy
    • public policy
    • urban growth models
    • urban theory

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Public Administration


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