A massive urban symbiosis: A preliminary review of the Urban Mining Pilot Bases Programme in China

Yanyan Xue, Hans Bressers, Zongguo Wen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Waste recycling helps to establish a circular loop of resource flow between production and consumption, achieving a certain symbiosis between the industrial and urban sector. Since more and more resources are accumulated in the urban sector, urban mining as form of waste recycling in a massive way becomes an outstanding way to achieve industrial and urban symbiosis. In 2010 China initiated a national urban mining pilot base (UMPB) programme with the objective of developing the recycling industry and relieving environmental and resource constrains. This study aims to provide policy review of the programme. We find that the UMPB programme was developed from past circular economy policies and attains legacy assurance from current laws and national plans. But this did not formulate a perfect governance context for its implementation. A multi-ministerial cross-management network led to policy conflicts, and recycling-oriented legislation remained absent. These became the main barriers for the good implementation of those urban mining pilots. Comparing with the eco-town programme in Japan, it shows that both programmes share some similarities of partial policy objectives but also show variety in the scope of urban symbiosis due to the different problems they focus on and the slightly different policy objectives under the different economic and social development phases.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTowards Zero Waste
Subtitle of host publicationCircular Economy Boost, Waste to Resources
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-92931-6
ISBN (Print) 978-3-319-92930-9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018

Publication series

NameGreening of Industry Networks Studies
ISSN (Print)2543-0246
ISSN (Electronic)2543-0254


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