Research on Region Governance character and mechanism of Suburban Counties surrounding Metropolitans in Central China

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Based on the cases from central China, this study discusses the relation between regional governance and regional challenges in the suburban areas surrounding the metropolitan areas in China since the 1990s. Under the trends of globalization and metropolitanization, the spatial-temporal features, and governances are changing toward a different direction. The territorial governance arrangement is shaped by the regional competition and the goals of economic development, which is pushed by the central city through the interaction of powers from different levels of government and stakeholders, under the China‟s administrative hierarchy, especially the "city-leading-counties" system, One of the prominent examples is the governance arrangement of the industrial parks located in metropolitan fringe areas, which shows both changes and continuity over time. To be more specific, this study starts with analyzing the features and changes of the governance on the county regions in the special periods. Further, the study focuses on the cases studies of a type of specific spatial unit – industrial park. By analyzing the cases of three time-sequential but spatial-separated industrial parks, the researcher examines specific mechanism of the impact of external regional challenges and policy changes of governance arrangement. Central city‟s attempt to join the fringe area for the development of industrial parks into county territory has to comprise with the suburb county‟s government. Eventually, a typical region government arrangement at the metropolitan fringe area came into being. The “softer” governance at the fringe area could be divided into three phases: the separation of city and county, the collaboration of city and county, and the dominance of the central city.
Governance arrangement, Metropolitan fringe area, Suburban counties