Policy transferability on public housing at the city level: Singapore to Guangzhou in China

Zongcai Wei, Tingting Chen, Rebecca L.H. Chiu, Hon Wan Edwin Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Resolving the severe housing problem of low-income households is a stumbling block for many local governments globally. Policy transfer by drawing on the successful experiences of other cities is of increasing importance. Singapore's public housing policy has made profound achievements in establishing an extensive public housing system. Since 2000, to formulate public housing policies, China's central government has officially asked local authorities to learn from Singapore's public housing experiences; however, is Singapore's housing policy transferable to China, a marketized socialist city, to what extent, and why? Using Guangzhou as a case, this paper examines the transferability of Singapore's public housing policy to Chinese cities in terms of the policy environment including government structure, funding mechanism, and land acquisition. This paper argues that Singapore's public housing policy can only be transferred partially to Guangzhou because of rapidly urbanizing contexts and complicated relationships between the central and local governments embedded in Chinese political culture. This paper suggests implications for other Chinese cities facing similar challenges in resolving issues pertaining to housing unaffordability for low-income residents.
Original languageEnglish
Article number05017010
JournalJournal of Urban Planning and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Guangzhou
  • Policy transferability
  • Public housing
  • Singapore

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies

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