In the afternoon of December 25, 2021, Ma Xiangming, director, chief engineer and professor of engineering of Guangdong Urban & Rural Planning and Design Institute Co., Ltd., delivered an academic lecture titled “the Shifting of Drivers for the Greater Bay Area’s Development Pattern and Its Effect” in Guangzhou Urban Planning and Exhibition Center.The lecture is guided by Guangzhou Municipal Planning and Natural Resources Bureau, hosted by Guangzhou Urban Planning and Exhibition Center, co-hosted by Guangzhou Urban Planning Association, and supported by the Greater Bay Area Urban Designers Alliance. People from all walks of life include the planning industry actively attended the lecture.
During the lecture, Mr. Ma started from introducing the drivers of the Pearl River Delta urban development, then extended to the comprehensive effect of multiple derivers in planning of all versions, with his focus on the urban development opportunities in the outline of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, expounding the shifting of drivers for the Greater Bay Area’s development pattern.
Mr. Ma firstly talked about the geographical advantages in developing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area from the aspects of history and geography, which is an opportunity offered to the Pearl River Delta by the evolution of the history. In his opinion, there are four drivers promoting the urban development of the delta. First, internationalization cultivated by industry transfer advances the emergence of scattered and multi-core bands of towns in the delta, which are mainly connected by production, and have a close relation with Hong Kong and Macao. Second, the integration of labor force and land elements speeds up the industrialization of the delta riding the wave of international industrial restructuring. Third, in the background of robust flowing of capital, technologies and industries, the link of capital and land make it possible for cities of the delta to complete the construction of infrastructure in a short term. Fourth, policies and urban systems form powerful mixed advantages for investment attraction. Using examples, he analyzed the “Three Imports and Compensation Trade”, the land utilization structure of Dongguan, land financing, and the “urban areas and cities”, evidencing the importance of the four drivers in the development of the Greater Bay Area.
Through the regional planning of the Pearl River Delta economic zone, Guangdong took a lead in continuously changing of infrastructure, resources, and environment management in the economic transfer and regional relation adjustment. The Pearl River Delta Urban System Planning released in 1989 kept a close eye on the development of 10 city clusters including Guangzhou and Foshan, Shenzhen and Zhuhai. The Pearl River Delta Economic Hub City Cluster Planning in 1994 built the “double centers”, “extension with dots along axes”, and three metropolitan areas, highlighting the building of a sustainable space coordinated development model. The Pearl River Delta Urban Cluster Coordinated Development Planning in 2004 shifted from “extension with dots along axes” to “network-like space structure”. Space control, as a policy, focuses on the control of regional ecological structure and nodes. In 2007, the delta faced the bottlenecks of low-cost competition model, export-orientation model and land-for-money model, bolstering the issuance of the Pearl River Delta Reform and Development Planning in 2008, which is aimed at building a world competitive city cluster with Hong Kong and Macao, thus driving internationalization and urbanization. The Pearl River Delta has transferred from resource export in 1980s to resource import after 2000. In the development of 40 years, the delta made three shifts from agriculture economy to urban economy, from internal economy to external economy, and from mono center to multi centers.
Ma interpreted the five positions proposed in the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area released in 2019, and extracted enlightenment in four aspects for the urban development in the area. First, in accordance with the outline, the Pearl River Delta will play an important national function, make good use of the advantages of One country, Two Systems in a proper way, and give the international links of Hong Kong and Macao into full play, so as to provide international platform and interface to the mainland China. Meanwhile, support the continuous and steady social and economic development of Hong Kong and Macao with the broad market and development space in mainland China. Second, the Greater Bay Area will be a pivot for China to go global, and provide support for the Belt and Road instead of “bringing in”. Third, the outline indicates that technological innovation will be the core driver for future development of the area, and the area has to change from channel resale in the past to content production and technological innovation. Cities in the area shall make sure that its technological innovation functions. Fourth, development in transportation technologies and industries forges the Peal River Delta transfer from an urban region to an urban circle. Cooperation between cities shall be strengthened to cultivate the extension from the urban circle to its surroundings, take part in the international competition with the Greater Bay Area as the carrier, thus promoting the regional economic coordinated development, injecting new vitality to the development of Hong Kong and Macao, and building a first-class bay area and international urban cluster with dynamics and international competitiveness.
At the end of the lecture, experts interacted and on-site audiences played their part actively by asking questions based on their understanding and confusion. Leaders from related departments, first-tier planning personnel and students majoring in urban and rural planning discussed with Mr. Ma in aspects like transportation, policies, and ecology, as well as the future development of the Greater Bay Area.
After the lecture, Mr. Ma took photos with other guests and audiences. The academic lecture came to an end in the warm atmosphere.