Implementing sustainable urban development at the operational level (with special reference to Hong Kong and Guangzhou)

William Seabrooke, Chi Wai Yeung, Florence M F Ma, Yong Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable development places emphasis on long-term benefits to society. This paper explores the evolution since 1992 of criteria for sustainable development at the operational level, comparing the contrasting policy contexts of Hong Kong and Guangzhou, both major cities in the Pearl River Delta of southern China. It contrasts the translation of Agenda 21, a global action guide, into local land use policy in both cities. The paper examines the organizational structure for land use administration and the response to Agenda 21 of both cities. It compares the characteristics of local policies for sustainable development, namely SUSDEV 21 (for Hong Kong) and Guangzhou Agenda 21 by reference to their consistency with Agenda 21 and contrasts apparent differences in their respective response to Agenda 21. More to the point, both cities illustrate the shortcomings of local policy in providing effective support to sustainable development at the operational level. It suggests the establishment of clear criteria in local land use policy for implementing sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-466
Number of pages24
JournalHabitat International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Agenda 21
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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