Latest research

Gui Yanli. “The Institutional Logic of Streamline Administration and Delegation of Power in Urban-rural Planning Management.”Planners, 2016 (7): 11-16.



 The streamline administration and delegation of power in urban management is the restructureof bureaucratic authority under the current management system. It is the redefinition of what to delegate, what to not delegate and how to delegate depending on the bottom line principle and the realization of city dreams and good governance.


1 The Actual Progress of Streamline Administration and Delegation of Power in Urban-rural Planning Management


In accordance with Urban and Rural Planning Law, Regulations on the Famous Historical and Cultural Cities, Towns and Villages, and Regulations on Landscape and Famous Scenes, the Chinese urban-rural planning bureaucratic management systemconsists of administrative examination and approval, and administrative and social supervision, conducting planning and management through accountability mechanism. The current planning and management is tending toward decentralization. Instead of emphasizing the core role of the upstream government in risk regulation, it decentralizes the powerinto the government, the society and the market. It places focus on marketization, socialization and administrative standardization. In terms of marketization,site plan as the non-statutory planning is effectively connected with the market throughenterprises;the statutory planninguses bids to design units, and further guarantees the quality of planning and controls the funds; daily administrative management is audited through purchasing public services (intermediary agencies). In terms of socialization, the role of the third-party like China Association of City Planning is increased and the mass supervision system is improved. In terms of administrative standardization, administrative licensing is loosened at first and then tightened; administrative approval is scrupulous; town management is advanced in an ordered manner.


2 The Institutional Basis of Streamline Administration and Delegation of Power in Urban-rural Planning Management


The streamline administration and delegation of power in urban management makes higher demands on the ability construction of the market, society and particularly governments at all levels. First, improve the governance capacity at the grassroots level. The basic requirement for the power changesin urban-rural planning and management is to improve the governance capacity at the grassroots level. Besides, the energy and activity of the market, the society and the local governments needs corresponding governance capacity to maintain. Second, perfect the social organizations. The societal forces in urban-rural planning mainly consist of social organizations, mainly industrial associations. The social organizationsdeliver public services, which is controlled by the country and at the same time required by the society, therefore serve as the interactive platform for the state and social stakeholders. Third is the emerging of market forces. The market forces grow for two reasons. One reason is that the citizens begin to protect their property rights, therefore pay more attention to urban planning and security. The other one, the provision of infrastructure by enterprises and the supply of the public services require a clean, limited and effective government. Fourth is better supervision of higher level. The streamline administration and delegation of power need to be accompanied by stronger supervision, therefore it is essential to improve the supervision ability of higher level and modernize the supervision measures.


3 The Logic Framework of Streamline Administration and Delegation of Power in Urban-rural Planning Management


The essence of urban-rural planning and management is to provide public products, coordinate the relationships between the stakeholders and guarantee the public interests. Pursuing the principle of bottom-line management, the macro strategic thinking of urban-rural planning and management reflects the government orientation and social vision. In addition, it has the dual nature of economic and administrative law. From the above reason, it can be seen that urban-rural planning and management has the nature of bottom-line, purpose and compatibility. The basic logic of streamline administration and delegation of power follows four principles. First isthe principle of decentralization, with examination and approval authority, administrative license, enforcement power and supervision separated. Examination and approval authority is the basis of administrative license, while administrative enforcement and supervision are conducted in accordance with administrative license and relevant laws and regulations. These four parts are highly consistent with each other while appropriately separate from each other. Second is the principle of a parallel between the centralization of examination and approval authority, simple contents and efficiency increase. The overall urban planning involves the issues concerning national interests like the expansion of construction land, the protection of ploughs, the urban-rural relationship, the protection of landscape and famous scene, and the preservation of the famous historical and cultural cities, towns and villages.Therefore the examination and approval authority should be centralized, the guard role of examination and approval authority needs to be further intensified, the city and county need to enjoy equal rights, the contents of examination and approval need to be condensed, and the planning and approval authority concerningthe market and numerous stakeholders needs to be decentralized. Third is the principle of a parallel between administrative licensedecentralization, accountability and the specification of discretion. The administrative license should be graded according to the nature and scope of public services, the general approval of administrative license should be consolidated and the case approval be weakened. The normalization of evaluation criteria and an effective supervision mechanism for case approval are necessary. Fourth is the principle of a parallel between the sink of administrative enforcement, the follow-up of financial rights and the institutional guarantee. The regulation and management of towns and villages is the dead zone of urban-rural planning and management, so the sink of administrative enforcement should be advanced in an ordered manner in case that the lack of power expansionconditions causes policy failure in some less developed areas or some fading towns in the developed areas, and that the unscientific decision-making and nonstandard operation cause policy abuse in some developed towns and villages.

There are some discrepancies between the streamline administration and delegation of power in urban-rural planning and management and other government institutions. Due to the co-existence of bottom-line management and objective management, and the difficulty to correct the urban-rural planning implementation, the good governance of urban-rural planning requires prudent attitudes, consolidated legal guarantee, strict planning approval, distinct administrative license, decentralized enforcement and surveillance, and excellent supporting mechanism.