Exploring Flexibility in Urban Planning Formulation of China

Zhenmin Xu, Yawei Zhang


Flexibility was once seen in planning literature as a negative feature, whereas today it is perceived by urban planners as a positive asset to cope with the challenges of growing complexity, opportunism and diversity in cities. There is an increasing awareness that urban planning cannot define and control the whole future with the great probability in the development of modern urban economy. The traditional rigid urban planning paradigm cannot meet the need of the urban construction. The flexibility will become the developing direction of urban planning at the new stage. It is the ability of a system to adapt or respond to changes in the environment. The flexible theory of urban planning suggests that planning should be a dynamic and harmonious thought. This article will introduce some planning practices of China and explore how urban planning can deal with uncertainties and unexpected developments in a fruitful way.


flexibility, uncertainty, planning and controlling method, urban planning

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DOI: 10.7250/aup.2013.010


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