Mega-city Region Governance and Urban Planning


As a result of the large-scale urbanization and urban agglomeration over the past few decades, mega-city regions have come to represent distinctive regional spatial formations undergoing major transformation led by globalization. Mega-city regions in various parts of the world exhibit differences in terms of rationale, development patterns, fiscal capacities, managerial abilities, and experiences in regional governance and planning. This chapter examines mega-city regions in different circumstances, treating them not only as functional and competitive nodes of global capitalism, but also as products of diverse processes and contextually reconstituted state spaces. With cases from a variety of theoretical and political perspectives, the chapter analyzes the experience of mega-city governance across a range of geographical locations in Europe, North America, Australia, and China to enhance our understanding of mega-city regions and consider how different approaches in governance and planning are reshaping mega-city regions in divergent contexts.


Anthony Yeh is Chair and Professor of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the University of Hong Kong. He has been Dean of the Graduate School, Head of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Director of the Centre of Urban Studies and Urban Planning, Director of the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Research Centre, and Director of the Institute of Transport Studies at the University of Hong Kong. Yeh is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2003, Fellow of TWAS (The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World), and member of the Academy of Social Sciences in United Kingdom. He received the 2008 UN-HABITAT Lecture Award and the 2012 Dr. Gill-Chin Lim Global Award. His focus is on urban development and planning in Hong Kong, China, and South East Asia, and the applications of geographic information systems as planning supports.

Jiang Xu is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Resource Management at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and President of the Hong Kong Geographical Association. Her main research areas include intercity competition and cooperation, urban and regional governance, urban planning systems, mega-city development, and changing state spatialities in transitional societies. Previously, Xu was a planning practitioner in an international consulting firm, working in China and Canada. She has published in top international journals and is co-author of the award-winning book, Urban Development in Post-Reform China: State, Market and Space (2007), and edited the volume, Governance and Planning of Mega-City Regions: An International Comparative Perspective (2011). She is the recipient of the 2008 Research Output Prize of the University of Hong Kong, and 2012 Research Excellence Award of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the 2014 Best Paper by the International Development Planning Review (with Calvin King-Lam Chung).