Patrick Michael Condon

Professor

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Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - Nov 2020)
Hope for Chinese ecocities (2020)

This study focuses on the ecological and social metrics of sustainable cities in China. It presents a dialogic critique between Western scholars and local Chinese practitioners on how the ecocity concept has been framed locally in China. The dissertation consists of three papers, based on fieldwork and surveys conducted in the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City (SSTEC) project.Chapter 2 reviews the theories and modern history of ecological planning, from which the concept of ecocity and “best practices” have evolved. My fieldwork of SSTEC concluded that in China the ecocity is a product of the local planning regime, which incorporates selective measures and principles into everyday governmental practices and city planning as a way to manage harmonious urban development.Chapter 3 is based on a survey that introduced the concept of Ecosystem Services (ES) to urban planners. ES cover a broad range of services that human populations can receive from their surrounding ecosystems. I hypothesized that ES would be a helpful tool to help planners, particularly because increased exposure to ES would promote greater awareness of the connection between the well-being of ecosystems and that of human communities. The results show that respondents put a higher priority on ES that matched the benefits found in the existing ecocity indicators. Existing planning policy and legislation could be improved by identifying missing ES and adding these to the evaluation framework.Chapter 4 examines neighbourly behavior and citizen participation in Tianjin, China, and explores the potential for identifying people who are likely to become local leaders i.e. individuals who are essential to the delivery of community services in China. Using a small- sample survey, I paired the participants’ demographic characteristics with the participants’ community involvement behaviors. This study contributes empirically to urban community research, and has practical implications for community building, particularly in the Chinese context.

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