RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2013

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72 Regional economic transformation and transition
Convenor(s) et al (.)
Chair(s) Jennie Middleton (Kingston University, UK)
Timetable Wednesday 28 August 2013, Session 3 (14:40 - 16:20)
Room Skempton Building, Room 060b
Session abstract This session has been convened by the conference organisers from papers submitted to open sessions. A session Chair will be allocated by the organisers.
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: AC2013@rgs.org
Time-space Regionalization of the City: Retail Pacemakers and Rhythms
Ondrej Mulicek (Masaryk University, Czech Republic)
Robert Osman (Masaryk University, Czech Republic)
The paper deals with urban rhythms and their role in production and perception of urban landscape. The paper employs Hägerstrand’s concept of pacemakers, Lefebvre’s rhythmanalysis and Crang’s /Bakhtin’s concept of chronotope to build up a theoretical-methodological background for follow-up analytical description of urban temporalities. The beat of contemporary city can be perceived as a combination of many overlapping rhythms generated by wide range of urban pacemakers. Working and school hours, urban transport schedules or retail opening hours are the representatives of temporal borders structuring the individual timescapes and producing places with specific rhythmicities. The paper focuses specifically on retail activities as significant urban pacemaker with strong spatial fix. The empirical analyses are based on a large dataset of opening hours of all retail premises in the medium-sized city of Brno. The areas with specific retail temporalities will be delimited and their rhythmical profiles will be interpreted with respect to physical and social place-related attributes. Finally the basic typology of urban (retail) chronotopes will be developed to draw a synoptic map of urban time-space.
From Exports to Emerging Market: Changing Dynamics of Global Production Networks and Urban and Regional Transformation in China
Chun Yang (Hong Kong Baptist University, China)
The outbreak of the 2008 global financial crisis has prompted to revisit the export-oriented urban and regional development prevailing in East Asia over the past decades. Drawing upon the focal notion of 'strategic coupling' in the global production networks (GPNs) perspective, the study advances an evolutionary framework to shed light on the domestic market in China as emerging dynamics in contemporary globalizing world. The study is conducted based on updated investigations of the market reorientation of transnational corporations (TNCs) in China and particularly the Pearl River Delta (PRD) in response to the post-crisis global–local interaction. It argues that the institutional and network embeddedness of TNCs in the processing trade regime have hampered their ‘recoupling’ with the domestic market and ‘decoupling’ from external markets. Rather, there emerges domestic market-oriented production network driven by strategic contract manufacturers through strategic relocation to inland China. As a pilot attempt to articulate the domestic market in the GPN framework, this study urges more research to explore the changing dynamics of GPNs, particularly market reorientation of TNCs and transformation of urban and regional development in the global economy.
The Governance of Economic Upgrading in China: A Comparative Analysis of Regional Textile Clusters in Guangzhou and Keqiao
Michael Waibel (University of Hamburg, Germany)
Philipp Zielke (University of Hamburg, Germany)
China is currently the largest exporter of textile and apparel products. Since the mid-2000s, both industries have increasingly suffered from rising wages and global competition, and an exclusively export-driven growth model is therefore no longer valid. As a consequence, the national government has begun supporting a shift towards approaches that generate more added value, ultimately replacing the slogan "Made in China" with “Designed in China”. This paper analyzes the governance of economic upgrading processes in two very important textile clusters in China over time: the China Textile City (中国柯桥纺织城市) in Keqiao, Zhejiang province, and the Zhongda Textile District (中大布匹市场) in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. Both textile clusters have recently undergone processes of brownfield restructuring, which have decreased the importance of manufacturing and increased that of the service industry. This tendency can be observed in the building of huge wholesale shopping malls on these sites. Governance theory is hereby understood as an analytical concept rather than an expression of a supposed globally changed reality. The research is based upon qualitative interviews with the involved stakeholders as well as local experts. This paper will show that the restructuring strategies in both textile clusters are different. First, the upgrading processes in Keqiao were implemented earlier and served as a model for the in-situ economic-spatial restructuring of the Zhongda textile district. In the case of the China Textile City, the key decision-makers are overwhelmingly dominated by one single state-owned enterprise, while the stakeholder landscape in Guangzhou is much more diverse. In Guangzhou, private actors are considerably more involved and institutional innovations, such as the founding of the Management Board and Textile Industry Chamber, ensure a certain participatory approach in collective decision-making. In conclusion, the implementation of economic upgrading requires less authoritative decision modes to stay globally competitive. Finally, this paper also addresses the limitations of empirical research with regard to urban governance in China.
The Development and Governance of Master Planned Estates in China: the Case Study of Wenzhou
Tingting Lu (University College London, UK)
Master planned estates have been recognized as one of the important family members of gated communities, which emphasize on the delivery of private governance and the lifestyle living. This article explores the development and governance of master planned estates in post-reform China. During the processes of suburbanization, master planned estates gain specific characteristics due to the state’s control over land and development strategies, as well as the adoption of market economy. The way in which suburban places are turned into new residential greatly demonstrates the political economic circumstances of housing development in post-reform China. This article is based on a large-scale survey held in Wenzhou, China. Local actors, regular activities, and everyday life within master planned estates are investigated. This article argues that residents with different demographic status do not have same preference for master planned estates; their attitudes towards privacy, security, and sense of community vary depending on the characteristics of communities, and the governance mechanisms employed in communities.
Socio-economic impacts of Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK): benefits and their absence.
Sarinah Binti Omar (The University of Hull, UK)
Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK) is the first petrochemical industrial development in Brunei Darussalam. One of the main aims of the industrial project is to accelerate the nation’s economic growth in terms of extending the value chain of the oil and gas industry in Brunei and to create and expand the employment opportunities for its people (BEDB, 2010). The main aim of this paper is to investigate the likely socio-economic impacts from the SPARK project. The paper will discuss what are the main benefits as well as some drawbacks from the project to the socio-economy of the country. One of the methodologies used in this paper was by using questionnaire interviews asked among the local communities who live near or surrounding the industrial development. In-depth interviews with local village headmen, project proponents [Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) and Sungai Liang Authority (SLA)], Department of Economic Planning and Development (DEPD) were also carried out. All data collected were coded and analyzed qualitatively.

Based from the data analysis, there are two major benefits that can be achieved from the project i.e. local employment opportunities and improvement in the infrastructural development surrounding the project area. In addition, there are also some major drawbacks or weaknesses from the project. One of the weaknesses of the project is that there is a long period of time for the revenue to be returned to the Government due to the inappropriate period of tax holiday. As well as that, the subsidies given to the investors can be said as non-economically viable as more income could be generated if the level of subsidy is reduced a little bit. Moreover, there is also little benefit from the spin-off activities that the Government could gain due to the unavailability of local services such as in construction and major maintenance of the project. The volatility of the methanol and other petrochemical prices may also add to the economic risk of the project. Lastly, the project may also affect the local communities especially those who live along the Sungai Liang Kechil Road as well due to the fact that the communities are living very close to the industrial area.