By Kyeongae Choe
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Additional resources for City cluster development : toward an urban-led development strategy for Asia
The oldest cities in the Pearl River Delta cluster are Guangzhou (formerly Canton); Macau; and Hong Kong, China, although Hong Kong, China, and Macau, as special administrative regions, did not become part of the PRC until 1997 and 2000, respectively. In 1979, the PRC set up Shenzhen and Zhuhai as special economic zones to accelerate economic growth in the region. The strategic locations of Shenzhen, which is only 30 City Cluster Development 20 km from Hong Kong, China, and Zhuhai, which is next to Macau, were significant factors in their rapid development.
A Strategic Framework for City Cluster Development In the light of CCD’s benefits, a strategic framework can be useful to guide officials in deciding whether or not to pursue CCD. The framework should answer some basic questions: • • • • What key factors should be assessed in identifying CCD potentials? What are the barriers to effective and efficient CCD? How can the barriers be mitigated so that CCD can be accelerated? What strategies can achieve effective and efficient CCD? Experiences in Asia show that at least eight key factors need to be assessed to determine whether or not to use CCD as an instrument for urban-led, inclusive economic and social development: • • • • institutional and governance mechanisms; demographic, resources, and spatial factors; development planning coordination over time and jurisdictions; use of land resources and land tenure; 38 City Cluster Development • • • • economic growth potential and trade functions; taxation, intergovernmental transfers, and fiscal discipline; infrastructure and information networks; and role of private sector participation.
A schematic representation of a CCD framework is shown in the table. Barriers to City Cluster Development and Measures to Mitigate Them Institutional and Governance Mechanisms One barrier to CCD is a mind-set among some public officials that associates urban growth with problems such as slums and squatters, lack of urban infrastructure and services, traffic jams, environmental pollution, and crime and violence. Another barrier is officials who are ideologically committed to local autonomy and therefore find it difficult to pursue CCD.
City cluster development : toward an urban-led development strategy for Asia by Kyeongae Choe