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Title:Airport surrounding area development in China
Author(s):Chen, Zhuo
Director of Research:Cidell, Julie
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Cidell, Julie
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Kwan, Mei-Po; Lee, Bumsoo; Goetz, Andrew R
Department / Program:Geography & Geographic InfoSci
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
airport economy
growth coalition
urban regime
Abstract:Urbanization and civil aviation industry have deep impacts on human society, including China where economic growth has been fast. A joint product of urbanization and civil aviation industry is Airport Surrounding Area Development (ASAD). There has been plenty of research on western ASAD and of Chinese ASAD by scholars from each respective side, but communication between the West and China on this topic is sparse. Growth coalition and urban regime are two rival theories abstracted from US reality of urban economic growth and relationship among various players during this process, but their applicability outside USA needs to be tested. China’s ASAD is a good opportunity for this type of test. The uniqueness of China is discussed in four aspects: government structure, land finance of local government, economy’s dependency on fixed-asset investment, and research data availability. Additionally, official plans of ASAD in six Chinese cities are presented to give potential investors a panorama of the situation through the scope of local government. Since there is always a gap between plan and reality, the author used two innovative methods to evaluate the ASAD situation: remote sensing analysis and computational text analysis. The author chose Xi’an ASAD as a case study. Tax data of Xi’an Airport New City revealed differentiated level of success for various industries around Xi’an airport. Fieldwork on industrial and residential landscape provided first-hand material. The author discussed four special topics in depth: urbanization of existing rural communities near airports with focus on land-lost peasants; environmental issues; interactive behaviors of government and enterprises; and COVID-19. Perspective business opportunities in ASAD in primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors, as well as precautions, are suggested to investors. This study fills the gap of Chinese ASAD research outside China. It confirms that in the Chinese context, the rationale of growth coalition theory and urban regime theory remains valid, but the specific roles and behaviors of players differ from their counterparts in the West. The two originally rival theories each explain part of the reality. The government and public sector economy are dominant in China, yet other civil players like private and foreign capital and land-lost peasants cannot be neglected. All players have common interests on airport surrounding area economic development; therefore, they often compromise with each other and cooperate. This study provides international investors with rich and up-to-date information about this huge market. Moreover, China’s experience of ASAD exhibits an alternative development approach from the West for other developing countries.
Issue Date:2020-05-04
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Zhuo Chen
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-08-27
Date Deposited:2020-05

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