Urban Risk Orientation in China: Space and Governance

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.8, 2017


Urban Risk Orientation in China: Space and Governance



Chen Jinhua


As an issue in Chinese urban development, urban risk orientation reflects and invites reflection on the structural features and internal development of the immediate or potential risks entailed in rapid urbanization across the globe. China has reached a consensus on the management of urban risk as part of research into the modernization of national governance. A scrutiny of spatial theory indicates that urban risk orientation in China is essentially a structural issue arising from an immature system of generalized preferences in urban space rights and interests, with an unbalanced spatial structure, functional disorder and ecological disruption arising from inequitable and unbalanced urban spatial development, readjustment and renovation. As an innovative form of modern urban public management ranging from utilities to human resources, spatial management enlists players including government, enterprises, society and citizens to seek a “community of spatial interests” with a rational structure, effective functions and an optimized environment at the level of spatial production and interest distribution. This would carry out innovations in the spatial structures, drivers and mechanisms of urban public management and the associated cultural ecology with a view to realizing the institutionalization, synthesis and reordering of urban spatial management, strategically forestalling and resolving the risks encountered in the course of urbanization, and realizing the spatial governance vision of scientific, fair and sustainable allocation, growth and renovation of urban space in the age of risk.