CCCH9002 China: Culture, State and Society

Chinese Cities in the 21st Century

[This course is under the thematic cluster of ‘Sustaining Cities, Cultures, and the Earth’.]


Course Description

This course provides students with an understanding of the evolution and driving forces of urban development in major Chinese cities in the last three decades; helps them to develop an appreciation of the rapidly changing urban development and landscapes in Chinese cities; and exposes them to the key issues and challenges facing these cities in the 21st century. The topics covered include urban economic development, housing, transport, urban sustainability and planning.

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the evolution and modernization of Chinese cities in the past three decades.
  2. Identify important issues and challenges facing contemporary Chinese cities.
  3. Identify possible solutions to address these problems and challenges and investigate their implications for the sustainability of Chinese cities.
  4. Identify key problems of a Chinese city based on its urban development history and current conditions.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

Second semester (Wed)


Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 12
Reading / Self-study 30
Assessment: Essay / Report writing 40
Assessment: Presentation (incl preparation) 24
Assessment: Examination (incl preparation) 20
Total: 150

Assessment: 60% coursework; 40% examination

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Group project and presentation 50
Reflective journal 10
Semi-open book examination 40

Required Reading

  • Ma, L. J. C., & Wu, F. (2005). Restructuring the Chinese city: Changing society, economy and space. London; New York: Routledge.
  • Wu, F., Xu, J., & Yeh, A. G. O. (2007). Urban development in post-reform China: State, market, and space. London; New York: Routledge.
  • Wu, W., & Gaubatz, P. (2013).The Chinese city. New York: Routledge.
  • Yeh, G.O., Yang, F. F., & Wang, J. (2015). Economic transition and urban transformation of China: The interplay of the state and the market. Urban Studies, 52(15), 2822–2848.

Recommended Reading

  • Chan, K. W., & Hu, Y. (2003). Urbanization in China in the 1990s: New definition, different series, and revised trends. The China Review, 3(2), 49-71.
  • Friedmann, J. (2005). China’s urban transition. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Logan, J. R. (2008). Urban China in transition. Malden, MA; Oxford: Blackwell.

Recommended Website


Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Professor A.G.O. Yeh
Department of Urban Planning and Design, Faculty of Architecture
Tel: 3917 2721
Email: hdxugoy@hkucc.hku.hk
Teacher(s) Contact
Professor A.G.O. Yeh
Department of Urban Planning and Design, Faculty of Architecture
Tel: 3917 2721
Email: hdxugoy@hkucc.hku.hk
Dr S. He
Department of Urban Planning and Design, Faculty of Architecture
Tel: 3917 1174
Email: sjhe@hku.hk
Dr R.C.K. Chan
Department of Urban Planning and Design, Faculty of Architecture
Tel: 3917 2277
Email: hrxucck@hkucc.hku.hk