Beijing skyscraper

China Country Synthesis Report

Local Evidence
From Quantity to Quality: Supporting China's Urban Transition

PEAK Urban's new approach to understanding cities is supporting China's rapid urbanisation process as it shifts from an economic focus to include environmental, institutional and social factors, to create sustainable, inclusive cities.


Establish mechanisms for a collaborative approach across traditional city government silos

By creating formal bodies and mechanisms that institutionalise meaningful collaborations - at different levels, across sectors, and between cities and regions - policymakers can create a fully networked system through which to govern and manage sustainable, equitable cities.

Identify the links and interfaces between systems

State and international policymakers should proactively seek links between systems, to understand how they impact one another, and leverage these interactions.

Promote cross-sectoral knowledge exchange and solutions

By embracing and developing knowledge from different sectors and disciplines, policymakers can better understand the challenges they need to address and develop solutions that can be applied across different sectors for maximum effect.

Reform planning philosophies to guide and coordinate

Achieve sustainable equitable cities by replacing rigid regulation and top-down controls, with flexible guidance and participatory coordination aimed aimed at maximising efficiency.

Shift from "attracting people" to "retaining people"

To build inclusive societies and retain workforce talent, Chinese cities should address the needs of newly arrived migrants. PEAK research shows that many migrants now seek urban amenities and quality of live, above economic gain.

Adopt city-specific policies and measures

PEAK findings show the importance of policies that consider local contexts, even within a country. Different urban environments, at different stages of development, need different approaches and technologies. 

Use the PEAK approach to investigate complex urban issues

The PEAK approach is particularly useful to underpin planning on complex, multi-faceted urban issues. It can be used to diagnose barriers and enablers to inclusive, sustainable development at city, regional and national levels, and design integrated development programmes that draw on various knowledge sources, including local communities.

China Country Synthesis Report