A network governance approach to transit-oriented development: Integrating urban transport and land use policies in Urumqi, China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, land use - planning, land use - transit oriented development, organisation - governance, planning - integration


Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), Policy integration, Network governance, Western China, Urumqi


Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is not only an urban planning tool but also a complex policy process that involves a network of actors with diverse perceptions, goals, resources and strategies. In such a multi-actor setting, effective implementation of TOD requires governance instruments and strategies aiming for the promotion of actor mutual recognition, goal alignment, information communication and the management of actor interaction. Most of the empirical research on TOD in China has focused on economically developed cities in the prosperous East of the country. To what extent and how cities in China's far West, which feature a different developmental trajectory in their land use, housing provision and transport patterns, adopt TOD still remains unknown territory. This article makes a beginning with the exploration of this topic by studying the Urumqi city in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Based on network governance theory, this article investigates the governance strategies used in Urumqi to integrate urban transport and land use policies. It presents a network governance model consisting of three rungs and concludes that a coordinative umbrella organization plays a significant role in eradicating problems of early substantive selection and perceptional fixation; successful policy integration requires careful goal alignment strategies that force actors to shift from go-alone strategies to interaction and concerted actions; institutional design and trust-building are also imperative for joint action.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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