Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2002, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (6): 723-730.doi: 10.11821/xb200206013

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A Historical Review on Theories Related to the Development and Change of Chinese Cities

XUE Fengxuan   

  1. Department of Geography, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong, China
  • Received:2002-02-14 Revised:2002-07-26 Online:2002-11-25 Published:2002-11-25


Urbanization and city development in China have been unique. As a result, the concepts and theories developed in China related to the nature and structure of Chinese cities are quite different from those popular in urban geography that are based on Western experiences. The present paper is a historical review of these key concepts and theories regarding China's cities. It is divided chronologically into three parts: (1) feudal China; (2) China in 1949-1978; and (3) China after the implementation of the opening up and reform policy was started in 1978. The concepts and theories that have emerged in the three periods form an important foundation for understanding and guiding future urbanization and city development in China, and will contribute to comparative urban studies.

Key words: Chinese urbanization, Chinese city, city nature, cultural geography, urban historical geography, city structure