The Changing Roles of the Local Government in Environmental Governance in Guangzhou, China
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School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China
School of Geography and Tourism, Jiaying University, Meizhou, 514015, China
Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory, Zhuhai 519082, China
Submission date: 2023-07-04
Final revision date: 2023-09-07
Acceptance date: 2023-09-21
Online publication date: 2023-11-21
Publication date: 2024-01-22
Corresponding author
Gengzhi Huang   

School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-Sen University, China
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2024;33(2):1401-1412
This article examines the changing role of the local government’s environmental management in Guangzhou, China, through a historical content analysis of archival data. Environmental governance in Guangzhou has followed a government-led, top-down model. The content analysis showed that over the past four decades, the role of Guangzhou’s municipal environmental governance has been characterized by transformation – from passive responses to accelerating and securing economic growth, and finally to active interventions that balance economic growth and ecological protection. The changing role of the Guangzhou government in environmental governance is driven by varied urban political priorities at different historical stages. This article argues that the urban political economy and the national government’s commitment to pragmatic, sustainable development shaped the local government’s response to environmental problems.
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