New towns are a major form of urban growth in China. In recent years, increasing numbers of large new town projects have been planned and built in and around existing cities. These new town projects have frequently been employed by city governments as central elements of pro-growth strategies, based on ideas of urban entrepreneurialism, which seek to promote economic growth, project a dynamic city image, and increase urban competitiveness. This article studies how the pro-growth, urban entrepreneurial approach affects the planning and development of Chinese megacities. A conceptual framework focusing on land-leasing revenue and new town development strategies is employed to explore the linkages between urban growth mechanisms and urban outcomes. Empirical material from four cities in the Pearl River Delta-Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan, and Zhuhai-is presented. The analysis indicates that new town developments in these cities have different levels of dependency on spatial expansion and land revenue, and emphasize different issues of sustainable development in their plans. Cities with a lower dependency on physical and economic growth are be more likely to emphasize the quality of the built environment and address issues of sustainable urban development more closely when planning and implementing new town projects.

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Keywords Land-driven economy, New town development, Pearl river delta, Urban entrepreneurialism
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Journal Sustainability (Switzerland)
Song, Y. (Yun), Stead, D, & de Jong, M. (Martin). (2020). New Town development and sustainable transition under urban entrepreneurialism in China. Sustainability (Switzerland), 12(12). doi:10.3390/su12125179