TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (3): 334-346.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.002951

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An Empirical Study of Foshan Governance Rescaling and Industrial Decentralization

LI Xuna,b,XIE Shiyinga,ZHANG Chengguoa   

  1. (a.School of Geography and Planning;b.Urbanization Institute,Sun Yat-sen University,Guangzhou 510275,China)
  • Online:2017-05-05 Published:2017-05-05

Abstract: With the globalization of production, the role of City-region” has replaced that of the state and become a prominent scale in global production networks and national governance. Meanwhile, through “de-designation of county (city) districts” and administrative division re-adjustment, “City-region” -a new type of regional space at the prefecture-level has also emerged in China's major metropolitan areas. The scale theory of human geography is a set of analytical methods to explain the development and transformation of the region under globalization. Scale theory focuses on the analysis of the change of the power structure of different levels of government and the development of space, which has a good explanation for the development of cities and regions around the world today. However, the analysis of governance rescaling and its spatialization process has been conceptualized, and the space has been “conceptualized” into a noun, focusing on the analysis of space from the perspective of “Spatiality”. Through the empirical study on the governance rescaling of Foshan urban areas, this paper attempts to specify and materialize the process of governance rescaling. Taking Foshan as a case, this paper explores the process of governance rescaling and its impact on the development of industrial space. After “turning county into district”(che xian she qu), governance structure of Foshan has started the process of rescaling, the power of municipal has been strengthened. Through adjustment of “city - district” financial relations, Foshan government promoted the administrative structure reform, establishment of spatial planning and approval structure, Foshan Municipal began the process of governance rescaling. As a result, a governance structure that matches the new administrative space has been constructed. 1) After “turning county into district”(che xian she qu) in 2002, the overall trend of financial relations between Foshan municipal government and district governments is that the fiscal revenue continue to concentrate on the municipal government level. 2) To rationalize the administrative relationship between the municipal government and district governments, Foshan City promotes administrative management reform, includes “the overhaul of administrative system reform”(da buzhi gaige) and “city - district” departmental administrative relations reform. In the new administrative framework, Foshan municipal government achieves full coverage of management to the 5 subordinate districts,and the management power from city sector to district sector has been strengthened. 3) The structure of Foshan City’s spatial planning management approval, has witnessed a change from previous decentralized state, which was of county-level municipal government-led state, to a more centralized state in which Foshan municipal government is responsible for macro-space planning, while the district government is responsible for the control of detailed planning management approval. Also, the re-adjustment of administrative scales has brought changes to the spatial distribution of industrial production, leading to a reconfigured spatial pattern. The city government-led ring road and industrial park construction accompanied with governance rescaling, affect the spatial distribution of industrial enterprises. In other words, governance rescaling promotes the process of restructuring of economic space. Displaying a trend of “macro-dispersion, micro-concentration”, the spatial trajectory of industrial production activities in Foshan can be largely characterized by an evolutional process of decentralization and polycentricity.

Key words: city-region, governance, rescaling, enterprise spatial distribution, Foshan