River basin management and urban development: the challenges and coordinated planning policies within the planning system of China


  • Mengyuan Jia Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture
  • Tian Chen Tianjin University
  • Haoran Zhang China Academy of Urban Planning and Design




Integrated river basin management (IRBM) is important to promote sustainable development. In China, the transforming spatial planning system has focused on coordinating the relationships between river basin management and urban development, and the boundaries between river basins and administrative regions. This study presents the results of a research project that examined the emerging relationship between the river basin management policies and the urban spatial planning system in China. Using interpretive policy analysis, this research assesses how river basin management and urban development planning are currently structured in China and identifies the contradictions between river basin management and urban development regarding administrative jurisdiction, planning management system, investigation, and analysis methods. Drawing comparisons with practices in the United States, the Netherlands, Australia, and other nations, this study explores collaborative strategies for integrating river basin management within the Chinese planning system. The discussion encompasses plan-making technical methods, planning contents, and planning management approaches, providing insights into optimizing the spatial planning system for sustainable urban development.