IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

From industrial enclaves to prototypes of the modern Chinese city: Development zones in Guangdong


  • Christian Wuttke



Southern China’s Pearl River Delta Economic Region has been a role model for China’s transition and is one of the country’s most important economic regions. But its development model, based on abundant cheap labour resources and export-oriented manufacturing, is increasingly threatened—by the ending of the special policy treatment of the region, the shift of national economic development strategies towards catch-up development of China’s underdeveloped hinterland, increasing competition from other regions in China and South-East Asia, and rising labour costs. If the growth rates of the past are to be sustained, new development strategies are needed. New kinds of development zones are at the core of such efforts. Development zones used to be clearly defined and bounded-off industrial monocultures with nothing but factories, often of the same kind of industries. In order to move beyond labour and energy intensive manufacturing and towards an ‘upgraded’ local economy, they are increasingly converted into full-fledged urban areas, and are more and more integrated into the urban space as a whole. As such, they are believed to offer an investment environment more suitable for knowledge-intensive and high-tech industries. Administrative district/development zone hybrids such as the Guangzhou Development District and Shenzhen’s New Special Districts Guangming and Pingshan represent emerging strategies to further integrate economy and society, accommodate to emerging demands, and serve as prototypes for future urban development in China.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Wuttke, 2011. "From industrial enclaves to prototypes of the modern Chinese city: Development zones in Guangdong," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 26(5), pages 363-372, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:loceco:v:26:y:2011:i:5:p:363-372

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:loceco:v:26:y:2011:i:5:p:363-372. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.