Governing the Future City: A Comparative Analysis of Governance Innovations in Large Scale Urban Developments in Shanghai, London, Johannesburg

Duration: 01/16 – 01/18

Increasingly, today’s cities are defined by new patterns of mega-urban development, such as satellite towns and suburbs. Governing the Future City: A Comparative Analysis of Governance Innovations in Large Scale Urban Developments in Shanghai, London, Johannesburg seeks to highlight the impacts of these emerging forms for urban governance worldwide.

Through a detailed examination of three case studies in China, South Africa and the UK, the project provides an innovative comparison of the social and political implications of planned urban development in these different contexts. In particular, it explores the ways that competing concerns such as market-driven financing and public participation are balanced in these environments.

A key aspect of the programme is that, alongside the generation of the research, investigators will actively engage local communities, businesses and policy makers to ensure that their findings help shape future decision making.

Project website

Jennifer Robinson (Principal Investigator, Professor of Geography)
Philip Harrison (South African Research Chair in Development Planning and Modeling)
Xiang Luo
Mike Makwala (Senior Programme Coordinator)
Yuemin Ning (Professor)
Jie Shen (Assistant Professor of Urban Studies and Development)
Alison Todes (Professor)
Fulong Wu (Professor of Planning)

Development of comparative case studies of developments in China (Shanghai), South Africa (Johannesburg) and the UK (London).

Dedicated strands of action research, including co-production of knowledge with local communities and business groups, as well as targeted engagement of planners and policy makers in the case study cities.

Governing the future city: A comparative analysis of governance innovations in large scale urban developments in Shanghai, London, Johannesburg

Governing the future city – the development of the ‘new city’ of Lingang in Shanghai

The Corridors of Freedom initiative

Governing the Future City – The Redevelopment of Old Oak Park Royal, London