The Creation of Urban Value in China : The Case of the Modernization of Qujing City in Yunnan
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Working Papers MAPS ;1
This article proposes an analytical framework around the concept of urban value creation in order to gain a transversal understanding of the various interactions between urban planning, the strategies of urban modernization and growth through the development of the local real estate market, and the local financial system. This framework comes from a reflexive and evolutive methodological research approach both based on existing literature and empirically founded. The urbanization process of the fourth-tier city of Qujing in Yunnan province can illustrate China’s “landed urbanization”, i.e. the value creation resulting from government strategies for growth and modernization based on land and real estate commodification. Such local government policies have been enabled due to a demand for urban property that has largely resulted from an investment rationale: both residential and non-residential properties have come to be seen as financial assets by the urban population. We argue that the construction of urban value can be approached through the strategies of four groups of actors that all demonstrate the behavior of an investor, based on conventions about the increase of urban value through economic growth and urban modernization. These four groups of actors are individuals, the local government, real estate companies and financial institutions, all of which are involved in the search for urban rent.
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