City-county consolidation and the (re)conceptualisation of urban-rural planning

A comparative study of Taichung city and Tainan city, Taiwan





urban-rural planning, city-county consolidation, planning concepts, city regionalism, regional development


The Taiwanese central government views city-county consolidations as an effective method to strengthen national competitiveness and to balance regional development. But for local governments, consolidation presents a series of planning challenges, especially in relation to the reconstruction of planning concepts and discourses in their new territories. Aiming to understand the process, this study first proposes a typology of regional planning concepts as a conceptual tool to explore whether and how the consolidated governments (re)construct their urban-rural planning concepts, and then it examines the factors that may influence (re)conceptualisation through a comparative study of Taichung City and Tainan City. The research results show that overemphasis on using the concept of competitive city regionalism to balance regional development at the national level may lead to a widening of rural-urban disparities at regional and local levels.

How to Cite

Huang, W.-J. (2021). City-county consolidation and the (re)conceptualisation of urban-rural planning: A comparative study of Taichung city and Tainan city, Taiwan. Transactions of the Association of European Schools of Planning, 5(1), 23–39.







ABéland, Daniel (2005) Ideas and social policy: An institutionalist perspective. Social Policy & Administration, 39 (1), pp.1-18. DOI:

Caffyn, Alison and Margareta Dahlström (2005) Urban–rural interdependencies: Joining up policy in practice. Regional Studies, 39 (3), pp.283-296. DOI:

Council for Economic Planning and Development. (2010) Strategic plan for national spatial development (Summary)

Douglass, Mike (1998) A regional network strategy for reciprocal rural-urban linkages: An agenda for policy research with reference to Indonesia. Third World Planning Review, 20 (1), pp.1-33. DOI:

Epstein, T. Scarlett and David Jezeph (2001) Development—There is another way: A rural–urban partnership development paradigm. World Development, 29 (8), pp.1443-1454. DOI:

Executive Yuan of Taiwan, R.O.C. (2009) The explanation of national land planning and the reform of city and county. Research, Development, and Evaluation Bimonthly Issue, 33 (4), pp.1-3.

Faludi, Andreas and Arnold J. van der Valk (1994) Rule and order Dutch planning doctrine in the Twentieth Century, 1st ed. Springer. DOI:

Hadjimichalis, Costis (2003) Imagining rurality in the new Europe and dilemmas for spatial policy. European Planning Studies, 11 (2), pp.103-113. DOI:

Harrison, John and Jesse Heley (2015) Governing beyond the metropolis: Placing the rural in city-region development. Urban Studies, 52 (6), pp.1113-1133. DOI:

Healey, Patsy (2002) Urban-rural relationships, spatial strategies and territorial development. Built Environment 28 (4), 331-339.

Huang, Wei-Ju and Ana María Fernández-Maldonado (2016) High-tech development and spatial planning: Comparing the Netherlands and Taiwan from an institutional perspective. European Planning Studies, 24 (9), pp.1662-1683. DOI:

Jonas, Andrew E.G. (2013) City-regionalism as a contingent ‘geopolitics of capitalism’. Geopolitics, 18 (2), 284-298. DOI:

Morrison, Tiffany H. (2016) The meta-governance of regions and the need for a political geography of planning. International Planning Studies, 21 (3), pp.298-304. DOI:

National Development Council (2017) Urban and regional development statistics 2017. Republic of China (Taiwan), Taipei.

Pemberton, Simon and David Shaw (2012) New forms of sub-regional governance and implications for rural areas: Evidence from England. Planning Practice and Research, 27 (4), 441-458. DOI:

Scott, Mark (2006) Strategic spatial planning and contested ruralities: Insights from the republic of Ireland, European Planning Studies, 14 (6), pp.811-829, DOI:10.1080/09654310500496149. DOI:

Scott, Allen J. (2011) A world in emergence: Notes toward a resynthesis of urban-economic geography for the 21st Century. Urban Geography, 32 (6), pp.845-870. DOI:

Tacoli, Cecilia (1998) Rural-urban interactions: A guide to the literature. Environment and Urbanization, 10 (1), pp.147-166. DOI:

Tacoli, Cecilia (2003) The links between urban and rural development. Environment and Urbanization, 15 (1), pp.3-12. DOI:

Taichung City Government (2001) Revised Taichung City Comprehensive Plan. Taichung City.

Taichung City Government (2018) Taichung City Regional Plan. Taichung.

Taichung County Government (2002) Revised Taichung County Comprehensive Plan. Taichung County.

Tainan City Government (2002) Revised Tainan City Comprehensive Plan. Tainan City.

Tainan City Government (2014) Tainan City Regional Plan (Draft). Tainan City.

Tainan County Government (2001) Revised Tainan County Comprehensive Plan. Tainan County.

Van Duinen, Lianne (2015) New spatial concepts between innovation and lock-in: The case of the Dutch deltametropolis. Planning Practice & Research, 30 (5), pp.548-569. DOI:10.1080/02697459.2015.1076155. DOI:

Ward, Neil (2006) Rural development and the economies of rural areas. In Midgley, Jane (ed.) A new rural agenda. London: IPPR, pp.46-67.

Woods, Michael (2009) Rural geography: Blurring boundaries and making connections. Progress in Human Geography, 33 (6), pp.849-858. DOI:

Zonneveld Wil and Dominic Stead (2007) European territorial cooperation and the concept of urban – rural relationships. Planning Practice & Research, 22 (3), pp.439-453. DOI: 10.1080/02697450701666787. DOI: