Social impact assessment and public participation in China: A case study of land requisition in Guangzhou

Bo sin Tang, Siu Wai Wong, Chi Hong Lau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

121 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the current prospects for and obstacles facing the implementation of social impact assessment (SIA) and participatory planning in the People's Republic of China. During the past two decades, rapid urbanisation and the conversion of rural land for urban development have led to numerous social conflicts and tensions between the Chinese government and its people. SIA and public participation in development decisions have received increasing attention from the Chinese authorities as possible ways to tackle the problem. Based on a Guangzhou case study, this paper argues that the assessment and mitigation of adverse impacts on the community from urban development have been carried out with different objectives, core values and principles when compared with those in Western societies. It concludes that the poor prospects of SIA and collaborative planning in China lie not only in the weak framework for environmental legislation, but also in all institutions concerning state-society relations, the socialist governing ideology and traditional Chinese culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-72
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • China
  • Land requisition
  • Public participation
  • Social impact assessment
  • Urban development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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