We are organising a series of events including workshops, seminars and conferences to gather thoughts, inspire research and disseminate outputs.
Call for papers – Special issue in Transactions in Planning and Urban Research
Metropolitan development and city-regional governance in China

Extended urbanization has become a key feature of the 21st century capitalism (Brenner 2019; Keil, 2018; Keil and Wu, 2022). The city-region is a new spatial form of urban development driven by economic globalization, agglomeration, and neoliberal governance (Scott, 2001; Scott, 2019). But city-regional governance also reveals multi-scalar geopolitics to secure the social reproduction of capital accumulation at the sub-national scale (Jonas and Moisio, 2018). Similarly, as China becomes the ‘workshop of the world’, Chinese mega-city regions are the powerhouses of its economy. To promote the competitive city-region, the local state adopts the strategy of ‘planning for growth’ through building so-called ‘city clusters’ (Wu, 2015). Recently, China has seen a new wave of mega-city region development (Yeh et al, 2021). The development of major mega-city regions such as the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau will reconfigure China’s political economic landscape. The role of the state in regional governance is a salient feature (Wu and Zhang, 2022). The Chinese city-regionalism represents the state’s effort to remedy the crisis of urban entrepreneurialism at the regional scale and advance national development strategies. Facing uncertainties in globalization, changing geopolitics, and new smart technologies in the post-pandemic era, what is the current trend of city-regional governance? This special issue calls for an investigation of diverse development practices at the metropolitan and mega-city region scales and various governance aspects (see, for example, the scope of topics). We particularly welcome ‘grounded’ interpretation of Chinese urban development and regional governance (Zhang et al, 2022). 

The scope of topics

The contributions may include but are not limited to the following topics.

  • Studies of major mega cities and their regions
  • Reflection of development models and city-regional governance
  • The role of the state in regional governance
  • Regional institutional reforms, governance mechanisms and tools
  • Planning strategies, discourses for city-regionalism, and Chinese new regional initiatives 
  • Regional or cross-border infrastructure development, coordination and financialization 
  • Smart regional governance, technocratic regionalism, and governmentalities 
  • Regional issues of governance such as the environment and labour mobility
  • The post-pandemic regional development

Potential contributors are welcome to contact guest editors with a provisional title and abstract. Please refer to the journal webpage for submission guideline (

The length of papers is 8,500 words including references. 


Abstract submission: 1 July 2022. 

Full paper submission: 1 Oct 2022. Please note papers can be submitted any time before the deadline. We expect a swift review of submitted papers and publication of the special issue in early 2023. 

Papers will be in open access without publication charge. 

  • Brenner, Neil. (2019). New Urban Spaces: Urban Theory and the Scale Question. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Jonas, Andrew EG, & Moisio, Sami. (2018). City regionalism as geopolitical processes: A new framework for analysis. Progress in Human Geography, 42(3), 350-370. 
  • Keil, Roger. (2018). Extended urbanization,“disjunct fragments” and global suburbanisms. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 36(3), 494-511. 
  • Keil, Roger, & Wu, Fulong (Eds.). (2022). After Suburbia: Urbanization on the Planet’s Periphery. Toronto: University Toronto Press.
  • Scott, Allen J. (Ed.) (2001). Global City-regions: Trends, Theory, Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Scott, Allen J. (2019). City-regions reconsidered. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 51(3), 554-580. 
  • Wu, Fulong. (2015). Planning for Growth: Urban and Regional Planning in China. London: Routledge.
  • Wu, Fulong, & Zhang, Fangzhu. (2022). Rethinking China’s urban governance: The role of the state in neighbourhoods, cities and regions. Progress in Human Geography, DOI: 10.1177/03091325211062171
  • Yeh, Anthony GO, Lin, George CS, & Yang, Fiona F (Eds.). (2020). Mega-City Region Development in China. London: Routledge.
  • Zhang, Fangzhu, Li, Zhigang, Hamnett, Chris, Xiao, Yang, & Wang, Zheng. (2022). From China to the world – urban China studies for a global community. Transactions in Planning and Urban Research, 1(1), 1-4. 
Guest editors 

Fulong Wu, Fangzhu Zhang, Weikai Wang

Bartlett School of Planning, University College London,,