The Emergence of International Urban Planning and Design Firms in China from an OLI Perspective

Authors

  • Hyung Min Kim Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne
  • Anthony Kent Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5614/jpwk.2019.30.2.3

Keywords:

Urban planning and design firms, globalised urbanisation, foreign direct investment, producer services, China, OLI paradigm

Abstract

There has been high demand for planning and design services at various scales in Chinese cities. International urban planning and design (UPD) firms have taken some of these opportunities. Despite the direct relevance of UPD industries for urbanisation and the important role of international UPD firms, little attention has been paid to their spatial and operational strategies. What are the drivers for international UPD firms appearing in China? What role have they played in China's urbanisation? This research analysed the overall trend of international UPD firms operating in China based on an extensive survey and in-depth interviews with a number of these firms. The findings suggest that the emergence of international UPD firms is largely attributable to planning system reform and internal and global forces that can be understood by the advantages that comprise the OLI framework (ownership-, location-, and internalisation-specific advantages). Ownership-specific advantages such as high-quality urban planning and design skills are the most important element for these firms, contributing to globalised urbanisation. A high locational concentration of the international UPD firms has been observed in the largest Chinese cities, i.e. Shanghai and Beijing. The establishment of international UPD offices is not limited to single Chinese cities but is spreading as further opportunities are sought in and beyond China.

Abstrak. Ada permintaan tinggi untuk layanan perencanaan dan desain di berbagai skala di kota-kota Cina. Perusahaan Perencanaan dan Perancangan Kota (PPK) Internasional telah menangkap beberapa peluang ini. Terlepas dari relevansi langsung industri-industri PPK dengan urbanisasi dan peran signifikan perusahaan-perusahaan PPK internasional, sedikit perhatian diberikan pada strategi spasial dan operasional mereka. Apakah yang mendorong kemunculan PPK internasional di Cina? Peran apa yang telah mereka mainkan dalam urbanisasi Tiongkok? Penelitian ini menganalisis tren keseluruhan perusahaan PPK internasional yang beroperasi di Cina dengan survei ekstensif dan studi kasus melalui wawancara mendalam dengan perusahaan. Temuannya menunjukkan bahwa munculnya perusahaan-perusahaan PPK internasional sebagian besar disebabkan oleh perencanaan reformasi sistem dan kekuatan internal dan global yang dapat dipahami dengan menggunakan kerangka kerja OLI (kepemilikan-, lokasi-, dan keuntungan internalisasi khusus). Keuntungan khusus kepemilikan seperti perencanaan kota dan keterampilan desain berkualitas tinggi adalah unsur yang paling penting bagi perusahaan-perusahaan ini yang berkontribusi terhadap urbanisasi global. Konsentrasi lokasi perusahaan-perusahaan PPK internasional yang tinggi telah diamati di kota-kota Cina terbesar seperti Shanghai dan Beijing. Pembentukan kantor-kantor PPK internasional tidak terbatas pada satu kota di Cina tetapi menyebar ketika peluang lebih lanjut dicari di dalam dan luar Cina.

Kata Kunci. Perusahaan perencanaan dan perancangan kota, urbanisasi global, penanaman modal asing, layanan produsen, cina, paradigma OLI.

Author Biography

Hyung Min Kim, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne

Lecturer, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning

References

Airriess, C. (2008) The Geographies of Secondary City Growth in a Globalised China: Comparing Dongguan and Suzhou. Journal of Urban History 35(1), 134-149.

Beaverstock, J.V., R.G. Smith, and P.J. Taylor (1999). A Roster of World Cities. Cities 16(6), 445-458.

Caprotti, F. (2014) Critical Research on Eco-cities? A Walk Through the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City, China. Cities 36, 10-17.

Chen, F. (2016) The Design Dimension of China's Planning System: Urban Design for Development Control. International Planning Studies 21(1), 81-100.

Daniels, P.W. (1995) The Locational Geography of Advanced Producer Services Firms in the United Kingdom. Progress in Planning 43(2-3), 123-138.

Dunning, J.H. (1993) Multinational Enterprises and the Global Economy. Wokingham, England; Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley

Dunning, J.H. (1997) Re-evaluating the Benefits of Foreign Direct Investment. In: J.H. Dunning (Ed.) Alliance Capitalism and Global Business (Vol. Studies in International Business and the World Economy, vol. 7., 209-234). London and New York: Routledge. (Reprinted from: [1994]).

Dunning, J.H. (2000) The Eclectic Paradigm as an Envelope for Economic and Business Theories of MNE Activity. International Business Review 9, 163-190.

Friedmann, J. (2005) China's Urban Transition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Grant, R. & Nijman, J. (2002) Globalization and the Corporate Geography of Cities in the Less-developed World. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 92(2), 320-340.

Gu, C., C. Kesteloot, and I.G. Cook (2015) Theorising Chinese Urbanisation: A Multi-layered Perspective. Urban studies 52(14), 2564-2580.

Han, S.S. and B. Qin (2009) The Spatial Distribution of Producer Services in Shanghai. Urban Studies 46(4), 877-896.

Kim, H.M. (2018) The Influx of High-income Foreign Nationals and the Housing Market in a Developing Country: A Case Study of Suzhou Industrial Park, China. Journal of Housing and the Built

Environment 33(4), 767-788.

Kim, H.M. and M. Cocks (2017) The Role of Quality of Place Factors in Expatriate International Relocation Decisions: A Case Study of Suzhou, a Globally-focused Chinese City. Geoforum 81, 1-10.

Kim, H.M. and M. Cocks (2018) Urbanisation and Globalisation: An Overview of Modern Suzhou Development. In: S.S. Han & W. Lin (Eds.) Healthy Future Cities, 379-395. Beijing: China Architecture Industry Press.

Kim, H.M. and S.S. Han (2012) Seoul. Cities 29(2), 142-154.

Kim, H.M. and S.S. Han (2014) Inward Foreign Direct Investment in Korea: Location Patterns and Local Impacts. Habitat International 44, 146-157.

Kim, H.M. and K. O'Connor (2019) Foreign Direct Investment Flows and Urban Dynamics in a Developing Country: A Case Study of Korean Activities in Suzhou, China. International Planning Studies 24(2), 125-139.

Kim, J.Y. and L-Y. Zhang (2008) Formation of Foreign Direct Investment Clustering - A New Path To Local Economic Development? The Case of Qingdao. Regional Studies 22(2), 265-280.

Leaf, M. and L. Hou (2006) The "Third Spring' of Urban Planning in China: The Resurrection of Professional Planning in the Post-Mao Era. China Information 20(3), 553-585.

Li, H. (2012) Characteristics and Development Trend of Chinese Eco-City Construction Based on Investigation and Analysis of One Hundred Eco-City in China. City Studies 19, 1-8 (in Chinese).

Li, Y. and F. Wu (2012) The Transformation of Regional Governance in China: The Rescaling of Statehood. Progress in Planning 78, 55-99.

Luo, Y. (1998) Strategic Traits of Foreign Direct Investment in China: A Country of Origin Perspective. Management International Review 38(2), 109-132.

Ma, L.J.C. and F. Wu (2005) Restructuring the Chinese city. In: L.J.C. Ma & F. Wu (Eds.) Restructuring the Chinese city: Changing Society, Economy and Space (pp. 1-18). London, New York: Routledge.

Martek, I. and C. Chen (2014) Competitive Strategies Associated with Particular Localization Patterns Adopted by Implanted Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Firms in China. Journal of Management in Engineering 30(4), 1-13.

Morshidi, S. (2000) Globalising Kuala Lumpur and the Strategic Role of the Producer Services Sector. Urban Studies 37(12), 2217-2240.

Nguyen, N.T. (2008) The Impact of Producer Services on Ho Chi Minh city. (Ph.D.). The University of Melbourne: Melbourne.

O'Connor, K. and P. Daniels (2001) The Geography of International Trade in Services: Australia and the APEC Region. Environment and Planning A 33, 281-296.

Olds, K. (1997) Globalizing Shanghai: The "Global Intelligence Corps' and the Building of Pudong. Cities 14(2), 109-123.

Peng, D. (2000) Ethnic Chinese Business Networks and the Asia-Pacific Economic Integration. Journal of Asian & African Studies 35(2), 229-250. doi:10.1163/156852100512211

Pereira, A.A. (2003) State Collaboration and Development Strategies in China: The case of the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park. London and New York: RouteledgeCurzon.

Pereira, A.A. (2004) The Suzhou Industrial Park Experiment: the Case of China-Singapore Governmental Collaboration. Journal of Contemporary China 13(38), 173-193. doi:10.1080/1067056032000151391

Phelps, N.A. and F. Wu (2009) Capital's Search for Order: Foreign Direct Investment in Singapore's Overseas Parks in Southeast and East Asia. Political Geography 28, 44-54.

Sassen, S. (1999) Global Financial Centers. Foreign Affairs 45(1), 75-87.

Sassen, S. (2001) The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo (2nd ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2nd.

Sassen, S. (Ed.) (1995) On Concentration and Centrality in the Global City. Cambridge: Cambridge UP

Shen, J. and F. Wu (2012) The Development of Master-planned Communities in Chinese Suburbs: A Case Study of Shangha's Thames town. Urban Geography 33(2), 183-203.

Tang, W-S. (2000) Chinese Urban Planning at Fifty: an Assessment of the Planning Theory Literature. CPL Bibliography 14(3), 347-366.

Taylor, P.J. and G. Csomos (2012) Cities as Control and Command Centres: Analysis and Interpretation. Cities 29, 408-411.

Wei, Y.D., F. Yuan, and H. Liao (2013) Spatial Mismatch and Determinants of Foreign and Domestic Information and Communication Technology Firms in Urban China. The Professional Geographer 65(2), 247-264.

Wu, F. (2007) Re-orientation of the City Plan: Strategic Planning and Design Competition in China. Geoforum 38, 379-392.

Wu, J. and I. Radbone (2005) Global Integration and the Intra-urban Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment in Shanghai. Cities 22(4), 275-286.

Yeh, A.G., F.F. Yang, and J. Wang (2015) Producer Service Linkages and City Connectivity in the Mega-city Region of China: A Case Study of the Pearl River Delta. Urban studies 52, 2458-2482.

Yeh, A.G.O. and F. Wu (1999) The Transformation of the Urban Planning System in China from a Centrally-planned to Transitional Economy. Progress in Planning 51, 165-252.

Yeung, H.W-C., J. Poon, and M. Perry (2001) Towards a Regional Strategy: The Role of Regional Headquarters of Foreign Firms in Singapore. Urban Studies 38(1), 157-183.

Yu, L. (2014) Chinese City and Regional Planning Systems. Surrey, England: Ashgate Publishing.

Zhang, T. (2002) Urban Development and a Socialist Pro-Growth Coalition in Shanghai. Urban Affairs Review 37(4), 475-499.

Zhao, M. and X. Liu (2015) Mapping Producer Services Networks in Mainland Chinese Cities. Urban Studies 52(16), 3018-3034.

Zhao, P. (2015) The Evolution of the Urban Planning System in Contemporary China: An Institutional Approach. International Development Planning Review 37(3), 269-287.

Downloads

Published

2019-08-21

Issue

Section

Research Articles