Since its reform and opening up, China has experienced a period of rapid urbanization, with the rate of increasing from 17.91% in 1978 to 59.58% in 2018 [1
]. According to the dynamics of urbanization, significant amounts of the country’s rural population are expected to continue to flow into the cities in the future. Predictions estimate that China’s urbanization rate will reach 80% by 2030, and that its urban population will increase by about 300 million [2
]. To guarantee the needs of urbanization and sustainable economic growth in the future, more urban space must be provided; however, most cities in China currently face the problems of urban decline and land shortage. Urban renewal is considered to be an effective way to solve urban decline, improve the quality of the environment and the efficiency of urban land use, and promote the inclusion of vulnerable groups [3
]. As such, urban renewal can be seen as an important way of dealing with the problem of China’s shortage of urban space.
In China, local governments have given priority to the supply of industrial land for a long period of time, resulting in industrial land in most cities accounting for an excessive proportion of urban construction land and inefficiency [6
]. According to the Statistical Yearbook of Urban Construction in China
], and as shown in Figure 1
, from 2006 to 2017, China’s industrial land accounted for more than 19% of China’s urban construction land each year, with the proportion of this land in Eastern China reaching over 20%, far higher than the general proportion of industrial land in the world, of 5% to 15% [6
]. As an increasing number of large and medium-sized cities in China are now entering the post-industrialized era, the demand for industrial land is set to fall sharply. A large amount of industrial land is expected to be redeveloped to meet the demands for urban space brought about by the increase of urban populations. For example, from 2010 to 2016, Shenzhen City successfully implemented the redevelopment of 660.33 hm2
of industrial land, 6.7 times the size of the residential land redeveloped in that city [8
]. Considering this, the industrial land redevelopment in China may be seen to have become a major aspect of urban renewal.
Industrial land redevelopment projects refer to the activities of demolition and reconstruction of urban industrial land where idle, inefficient, or existing land use does not meet the requirements of urban socioeconomic development [6
]. The redevelopment mode of industrial land in China has mainly followed two models: the state-led redevelopment model, and the land user-led redevelopment model [9
]. The state-led redevelopment projects are those in which local governments levy land use rights by paying the original land users compensation for demolition and resettlement, and then transferring the land use rights to state-owned enterprises or developers, for them to complete the industrial land redevelopment. Land user-led redevelopment projects are those in which the original land users independently undertake the industrial land redevelopment under the guidance of the government’s policy and planning.
Large-scale industrial land redevelopment is a complex process involving multiple stakeholders, which often engenders various social problems triggered by conflicts of interest between stakeholders [11
]. The power held by different stakeholders in industrial redevelopment projects is not equally distributed, and there are also significant differences between their interests and expectations [13
]. Many social conflicts occur because of the lack of systematic identification and analysis of the diverse expectations of different stakeholders in the process of industrial land redevelopment, in turn complicating policy makers’ ability to propose effective strategies for balancing interests [14
]. Therefore, acquiring an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the diverse expectations of core stakeholder groups may be seen as a key step towards social sustainability in the context of China’s industrial land redevelopment.
Social sustainability includes two aspects: moral values and norms (e.g., social equity), related to stakeholder participation [15
]. Effective stakeholder participation can promote sustainable urban renewal in a variety of ways, as mentioned in extensive research [16
]. However, these studies have typically focused on neighborhood renewal projects, with less research focusing on stakeholder participation in industrial land redevelopment projects, especially in the context of China [18
]. The former approaches are not fully applicable to industrial land redevelopment projects, since stakeholders’ expectations will vary with different project types and local contexts. In China, the issue of stakeholder participation in industrial land redevelopment is a challenging one.
Few studies have comprehensively explored stakeholders’ expectations in different types of industrial land redevelopment projects in China. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the diverse expectations of the core stakeholder groups involved, namely, local governments, consulting experts, the general public, and original land users, comparing them in the context of both state-led redevelopment and land user-led redevelopment projects. This paper first reviews the literature about sustainable industrial, state-led redevelopment and land user-led redevelopment projects, and stakeholders’ expectations, in the remit of industrial land redevelopment. Then, 19 factors were identified and compared across the key stakeholder groups, based on the results of questionnaires and interviews. The research found there to be significant differences in expectations between different stakeholder groups. The negative externalities, the balance between industrial and residential space, the diverse needs in state-led redevelopment and land user-led redevelopment projects, and the barriers to stakeholders’ participation, in industrial land redevelopment in China were discussed. It is hoped that the findings of this paper can provide policy-facing insights into how stakeholder participation in industrial land redevelopment can be optimized, so as to improve social sustainability.
3.1. Study Area
Shanghai is one of the modern metropolitans in China, and the first Chinese city that stepped into the post-industrial era. The excessive proportion and inefficient utilization of existing industrial land have become two major obstacles to the sustainable development of Shanghai in the post-industrialization era [67
]. Today, there is an increasing number of large and medium-sized cities in China that are entering the post-industrial era. It is believed that the urban development modes of Shanghai can be seen as a typical sample in China [68
]. Due to the policy issued by the Shanghai Municipal Government in 2014, industrial land redevelopment projects were considered as one of the key urban development strategies [69
]. From 2014 to 2016, there were 96 industrial land redevelopment projects in the area of 628 hectares being planned and implemented in Shanghai [70
]. Characterized by the massive redevelopment of industrial land, Shanghai provides plenty of cases and resources for studying industrial land redevelopment. Therefore, Shanghai was selected as a sample case city for the industrial land redevelopment in China in this study.
Putuo District is located in the central area of Shanghai. Currently, there are still a large number of inefficient industrial lands which do not meet the requirements of the urban social and economic development. In order to improve the land use efficiency, urban industrial transformation and upgrading, and the urban environment so as to achieve regional sustainable development, the Putuo District Government plan to implement massive redevelopment on 725.4 hectares area of industrial land in 2013–2020 [71
]. It represents one of the hotspots of industrial land redevelopment comparing with other districts in Shanghai. Therefore, Putuo District was selected as the representative district in Shanghai for data collection. The data of governments and consulting experts were widely collected within the Putuo District. Since much of the data were collected from the original land users and the general public, it is extremely difficult to conduct field study in dozens of projects. Therefore, the Changzheng Industrial Park redevelopment project in Putuo District was selected as the representative case project to collect the data of original land users and the general public for the current paper, as shown in Figure 2
Changzheng Industrial Park redevelopment project is located in Changzheng Town of Putuo District. Most of its buildings were built in the 1990s. It was planned to be redeveloped in 2017, because the project is located in the center area of Putuo District, but most of its industries are low-end industries emitting environmental pollution and the industrial zone is inefficient in its land use, with an average building volume rate of only 1.3. This is a complex large-scale industrial land redevelopment project, with a total land area of 222 hectares and more than 1700 existing registered enterprises, and 6 residential communities within a 1.5 km radius of the project. Its redevelopment will have a significant impact on various stakeholders.
Two methods of data collection were applied in Putuo District, Shanghai: semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire survey, which were conducted between August and December 2018. The results of this study were based on the combination of semi-structured interviews and questionnaire data analysis. The latter was a numerical comparison analysis. The former was an in-depth interpretation, support and supplement of the latter’s data analysis results.
3.2. Semi-Structured Interview
Based on the criterion of the project experience, professional knowledge and job position, 21 representatives from five different stakeholder groups of industrial land redevelopment projects in China were selected for semi-structured interviews. The information of interviewees is shown in Table 2
. All of the selected stakeholder representatives were local officials, experts, original land users, and citizens are either those who are currently participating in or had participated in industrial land redevelopment projects with extensive practical experience of, or sufficient knowledge in, industrial land redevelopment. Telephone interviews and face-to-face interviews were applied to conduct semi-structured interviews in this study. The face-to-face interviews were conducted in August 2018, with each interview lasting for around 30 min. The telephone interviews were conducted in September 2018, with each interview lasting for around 20 min.
The government departments involved in the process of industrial land redevelopment projects mainly included land, planning, housing management, investment management and environmental protection departments at the municipal and district level. Seven representatives from these departments were selected for interviews. With regard to consulting experts, five researchers and industry experts with extensive practical experience in the consultation of industrial land redevelopment projects were selected as interview representatives. The interviewees of original land users and the general public included those who are currently participating in industrial land redevelopment.
Four interviewees who were original land users were selected from the Changzheng Industrial Park redevelopment project. In order to divide the original land users into the aforementioned two types so as to compare their opinions, they were asked the following pre-interview question: “Would you like to choose state-led redevelopment or choose land user-led redevelopment?” With regard to the general public, four residents living within a 1.5 km radius of the Changzheng Industrial Park were selected as representatives, all of whom were deemed to have sufficient knowledge of industrial land redevelopment.
During the interview, the interviewees were asked: (1) to verify the rationale of stakeholders’ expectations, as previously listed; (2) to clarify the stakeholder roles they represent in these projects; (3) to illustrate the conflicts between them and other stakeholders; (4) to answer the obstacles to stakeholder participation. The four questions in the semi-structured interview were closely related to the content of the questionnaires, and the results of the semi-structured interview were used to deeply interpret, support and supplement the results of the questionnaires data analysis. Through these interviews, the identified stakeholder expectations were validated, and the target groups requiring questionnaires were adjusted. In the interviews, the expectation-related factors which were identified based on the government documents and literature reviews were unanimously agreed by the interviewees, and no other factors were figured to be added. In the initial study design, the target stakeholder groups included local governments, original land users, consulting experts, the public, and NGOs. In the end, NGOs were removed since few NGOs are involved in industrial land redevelopment in China [72
3.3. Questionnaire Survey
On the basis of the validation of the identified stakeholder expectations and target stakeholders, a questionnaire was administered in order to obtain the required data. The stakeholders surveyed were asked to score the importance level for each factor. The level of importance was measured by a five-point Likert scale, where 1 represented “extremely unimportant”, 2 “unimportant”, 3 “neutral”, 4 “important”, and 5 “extremely important”. To improve the survey return rate and representativeness, the questionnaires were sent out via email and administered in person. The questionnaires were sent to those representing the five target stakeholder groups. To ensure that the majority of respondents had sufficient knowledge or experience in industrial redevelopment projects, potential respondents from the local governments, consulting experts, the general public and original land users in the different two project types were purposefully selected on the basis of criterion of the project experience, professional knowledge and job position. The local governments sample distribution included all relevant core departments of the municipal, district, town, and industrial zone management committee levels. With regard to original land users in Changzheng Industrial Park, the questionnaires were collected by e-mail. In addition, a question was set in the questionnaires sent to the land users, namely, “Would you like to choose state-led redevelopment or choose land user-led redevelopment?” to classify the original land users into two types. For the general public, the questionnaires were collected through on-site surveys of residents living within a 1.5 km radius of Changzheng Industrial Park. Comrey points out that when the number of questions in the questionnaire was less than 40, the medium sample size was about 150, and the better sample size is 200 [74
]. Based on this, the sample size of the questionnaires in this study was determined to be more than 200.
A total of 520 questionnaires were sent to the target stakeholders and 215 valid questionnaires were returned. Their distribution across the five stakeholder groups was relatively balanced, with a reasonable response rate of 41.35% [75
]. Of those respondents who replied, 39.08% had more than 2 years’ experience in industrial land redevelopment. Although more than 60% of the respondents had less than 2 years’ experience, they were mainly non-professional stakeholders (original land users and the general public) who were experiencing industrial land redevelopment and thus had enough experience in industrial land redevelopment. The demographic characteristics of the questionnaire respondents are summarized in Table 3
3.4. Analysis Method: Combination of Independent Sample T-Test and One-Way ANOVA
Norman points out that when using data collected by Likert scales, parametric tests are more reliable than non-parametric tests, even for small samples, as the variance is not equal and the data are not normally distributed [76
]. Based on this, parametric tests were used to analyze the data in this study.
First, the importance degree of each factor in each stakeholder group was compared by calculating the mean score of each factor. Second, the mean score of different paired groups was compared. Before making a comparison, the Levene‘s test was used to test the hypothesis that the variance between two specific paired groups is equal, and the threshold value was set to P < 0.05. Then, the independent sample T-test was used to test whether there was a significant difference in the mean scores between two specific paired stakeholder groups. The threshold probability P (two-tailed) was also set to P < 0.05. When the mean scores of pairwise comparison was proven to be significant, it was shown that these two stakeholder groups have different opinions on this factor. However, only the factors with the greatest mean differences among these proven significance factors can be seen as important and worthy of further discussion. Finally, the one-way ANOVA was used to analyze whether the expectations among all of the stakeholder groups involved in the industrial land redevelopment projects were different as a whole. The Levene’s test was applied once again and a threshold of P < 0.05 was set to estimate the homogeneity of variance between the five stakeholder groups.
4. Results and Analysis
4.1. Comparison of Expectations within Each Stakeholder Group
The importance degree of each factor in each stakeholder group was measured by mean scores, standard deviations and rankings, as shown in Table 4
. Here, it can be seen that the standard deviation scores of all of the factors in each stakeholder group range between 0.43 and 0.86. Such a low standard deviation indicates that the data collected are reliable, since each sample is close to the means.
The Promotion of Local Economic Development (F1), Industrial Transformation and Upgrading (F2), Maintaining Social Stability (F12), More Efficient Land Use (F4), and Economic Benefits for Governments and Other Stakeholders (F3) were ranked as the top five by local governments. By conducting interviews with seven government officials, the main interest of local government in industrial land redevelopment projects was found to be that of “public interests”. From the perspective of the local governments, responding to “public interests” in industrial land redevelopment inferred stimulating local economic growth, growing high-tech industries, improving the efficiency of land resource utilization, social stability, and increasing local fiscal revenue. For the government, these were also considered as the success of industrial land redevelopment.
Moderate Mixed Use of Land Functions (F11), Enhanced Participation and Collaboration (F15), Improved Traffic Conditions (F10), Protection of Industrial Heritage (F5), and Good Compensation and Resettlement Plan (F13) were found to be the factors of greatest concern for the consulting experts. The consulting experts are stakeholders with expertise who could influence the industrial land redevelopment projects by providing suggestions to the local governments. The interviews with all of the consulting experts highlighted that they expected to realize their personal values by providing advisory services for the project. Therefore, they strongly hope to participate more in industrial land redevelopment. Furthermore, the optimization of land use, traffic accessibility, industrial heritage protection and reasonable distribution of economic benefits are the main technical elements which need to be taken seriously.
From the perspective of the public, their most concerned factors were Increasing Open Space (F16), Enhanced Participation and Collaboration (F15), Appropriate Land Development Intensity (F18), Increased Information Transparency (F14), and the Improvement of Public Service Facilities (F7). According to the opinions of the public representatives interviewed, environmental improvements and having a higher quality of life brought about by the industrial land redevelopment were of great concern to them. In addition, as the general public rarely has the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process pertaining to industrial land redevelopment, they expect to reduce the negative externalities of the project through more participation.
For the original land users in state-led redevelopment projects, Good Compensation and Resettlement Plan (F13), Enhanced Participation and Collaboration (F15), and Increased Information Transparency (F14) were the three main factors with a mean score higher than 4.57. The other factors were considered unimportant, because the mean scores of them were relatively low. It was also reported by the interviewees who were original land users in state-led redevelopment projects. Since they have to move out after the project is completed, they are not concerned with the benefits of the project for the redevelopment area. Rather, their main concerns lie in obtaining more information and participating in industrial land redevelopment decision making processes, so as to maximize individual economic benefits.
The original land users in land user-led redevelopment projects were found to be most concerned with the Economic Benefits for Governments and Other Stakeholders (F3), Enhanced Participation and Collaboration (F15), Improving the Quality of Buildings (F9), Improving Traffic Conditions (F10) and the Improvement of Public Service Facilities (F7). As they were project holders who would be able to enjoy the benefits of improved redevelopment areas, they were eager to participate in the process of industrial land redevelopment and contribute ideas to regional redevelopment programs. In this way, the quality of buildings, traffic conditions and public service facilities around the project can be significantly improved, and land users can reap economic benefits from added property values and rent increases.
4.2. Comparison of Expectations between Pairs of Stakeholder Groups
The mean differences between group pairs proved to be significant using the independent sample T-test, as shown in Table 5
(LG = Local Governments, CE = Consulting Experts, GP = General Public, OLUS = Original Land Users in State-led Redevelopment Projects, OLUL = Original Land Users in Land User-led Redevelopment Projects).
Overall, there emerged great differences between the expectations of the original land users in state-led redevelopment projects and other stakeholders. Except for eight factors, all of the remaining factors were significantly different in the mean scores of four comparisons with other stakeholders. Furthermore, the mean difference for most factors was higher than 0.80, with a total of 13/19 compared with local governments, 8/19 compared with consultants, 9/19 compared with the general public, and 7/19 compared with original land users in land user-led redevelopment projects.
4.2.1. Comparison between Local Governments and Other Stakeholders
When comparing local governments with the consultants, there emerged 13/19 of factors with significant differences in terms of expectations. The Moderate Mixed Use of Land Functions (F11), Maintaining Social Stability (F12), Good Compensation and Resettlement Plan (F13), and Economic Benefits for Governments and Other Stakeholders (F3) were found to be the four factors with the biggest mean differences. According to the interviews with the six consulting experts, in many cases, their recommendations were not what local governments expected, and they also pointed out that local governments pay too much attention to social stability and the increase of local fiscal revenue. However, consulting experts pay more attention to the technical factors and the balance of economic interests among stakeholders. As described by a representative of consultants: “In many instances, local governments have determined the goals of industrial land redevelopment before we provide consulting services. All they want to do is to use our expertise to demonstrate the rationality of their targets”.
The comparison between local governments and the general public indicates that 13 of the 19 expectation factors had significant differences. Among those factors, the mean difference of Maintaining Social Stability (F12), Increasing Information Transparency (F14), Moderate Mixed Use of Land Functions (F11), and Appropriate Land Development Intensity (F18) have biggest mean differences. Based on the views of the 11 interviewees from local governments and the public, while the latter can benefit from social stability, they do not pay attention to it. Instead, they are eager to obtain more information to safeguard their interests and reduce the negative externalities of industrial land redevelopment. Proper development intensity can minimize the negative impact of industrial land redevelopment projects on the surrounding community’s living environment, which is a factor of great concern to the public. However, for the local governments, in order to reduce the cost of industrial space rents and thus stimulate local economic growth, the highest possible development intensity is permitted.
In the comparison between local governments and original land users in land user-led redevelopment projects, 14 of the 19 factors were found to have significant differences in terms of the mean difference. Among all of the factors, the top four differing expectations were Industrial Transformation and Upgrading (F2), Protection of Industrial Heritage (F5), Maintaining Social Stability (F12), and the Promotion of Local Economic Development (F1). Three of these four factors were of the greatest concern to local governments, and were regarded as the key elements of public interests that needed to be achieved. According to the nine interviewees with local government representatives and original land users, although the latter in land user-led redevelopment projects can benefit from social stability and local development in the long-term, they are not concerned about these factors. While providing more industrial space for advanced industry emerged as the expectation of greatest concern to the local government, original land users in land user-led redevelopment projects were not interested in this. Instead, they were keen to shift industrial land to commercial and office functional uses, in order to accrue more economic benefit. Moreover, the local governments regarded the protection of industrial heritage as an important issue in industrial land redevelopment, but land users held different opinions. As one of the latter representatives commented: “We are also aware of the importance of protecting industrial heritage, but the lack of a reasonable compensation mechanism for industrial heritage protection will harm our reasonable interest.”
4.2.2. Comparison between Original Land Users in State-Led Redevelopment Projects and Other Stakeholders
As displayed in Table 5
, the biggest differences of opinion between original land users in state-led redevelopment projects and local governments pertained to the Promotion of Local Economic Development (F1), Maintaining Social Stability (F12), Good Compensation and Resettlement Plan (F13), and Increasing Information Transparency (F14). Local governments regarded local development and social stability as two core elements of “public interest”, while the original land users in state-led redevelopment projects were not concerned with them. Instead, the latter’s greatest concern was that of obtaining compensation for demolition and resettlement. They hoped to acquire more information to influence government decision-making, and thus obtain a greater degree of economic compensation.
Increasing Open Space (F16), Appropriate Land Development Intensity (F18), and the Improvement of Public Service Facilities (F7) were the three top disagreements between the original land users in state-led redevelopment projects and the general public, as shown in Table 5
. These factors center on the promotion of the surrounding living environment and the convenience of daily life, which were of the greatest concern to the public; however, since land users in state-led redevelopment projects need to move out of the area, they pay little attention to these aspects.
The most conflicting opinions between original land users in state-led redevelopment projects and consulting experts regarded Increasing Open Space (F16), Increase Information Transparency (F14), Improve Traffic Conditions (F10), and Protection of Industrial Heritage (F5). According to the interviews with the six consultants, their priority was that of making the area under redevelopment more sustainable on a technical level. Therefore, technical factors such as the improvement of space quality and traffic conditions, and protecting cultural aspects, were of greater concern to them. Conversely, the original land users in state-led redevelopment projects were not concerned with the changes in the area under redevelopment. Rather, as previously stated, they viewed the resettlement compensation offered by local governments as a vital important opportunity to maximize their economic benefits and enable them properly to resettle their employees. Therefore, they had a strong motivation to obtain more information and intervene in the decision-making around the industrial land redevelopment.
The comparison between the original land users under the two project types showed that although they are both original land users, there were significant differences in their expectations. Economic Benefits for Governments and Other Stakeholders (F3) and Good Compensation and Resettlement Plan (F13) ranked first and second in all of the mean difference rankings, respectively, with the others being the factors related to the improvement of the area under redevelopment (F19, F9, F7, F10, F8). Due to original land users in land user-led redevelopment projects not actually moving out of the area in question, improving the quality of the properties and promoting the area’s attractiveness to investors emerged as their core interests. In comparison, the original land users in state-led redevelopment projects who did move out of the redevelopment area did not expect these aspects. Instead, their primary focus was on the demolition and resettlement compensation.
4.2.3. Comparison between Other Pairs of Stakeholders
In comparing the expectations of consultants and those of the general public, there emerged 11 factors with significant differences. Increasing Information Transparency (F14) and the Improvement of Building Energy Efficiency (F19) were two factors with biggest mean differences in terms of this difference. From the perspective of the four public representatives, they believed that their supervision and participation could make industrial land redevelopment more sustainable, giving them a strong incentive to remain informed about the process of industrial land redevelopment. Although all of the consultant interviewees agreed that both the public and land users have the right to know the relevant information regarding the redevelopment, they feared that information transparency may cause over-interference and lead to inefficiency. For its part, building energy efficiency is an effective method of dealing with climate change in urban redevelopment, which was found to be a factor of great concern to the public. However, although consultants agreed that improvement of building energy efficiency was important, this was not their priority compared with other factors.
From the perspective of the consultants and original land users in land user-led redevelopment projects, 14 factors were found to have significant differences. Similarly, Increasing Information Transparency (F14) and the Improvement of Building Energy Efficiency (F19) were two of the four most differing expectations in this group, while the Protection of Industrial Heritage (F5) and Economic Benefits for Governments and Other Stakeholders (F3) were the other two. All of the consultant interviewees agreed that industrial heritage was an important part of the city’s historical memory and should be well protected. Although original land users in land user-led redevelopment projects were also aware of the importance of industrial heritage protection, they will ignore it because industrial heritage protection will reduce their personal economic interests.
Upon comparing the expectations of the general public and those of original land users in land user-led redevelopment projects, 11 factors proved to have significant differences. Protection of Industrial Heritage (F5), Increasing Open Space (F16), Appropriate Land Development Intensity (F18) and Improving the Quality of Buildings (F9) were the top four differing views among these two stakeholder groups. The distinguishing features between them were that the land users were concerned with the internal effects of the project, while the public were concerned with the external effects. Thus, the original land users expected that more of their participation would enhance the quality of properties on the land and accrue them greater economic benefits. In contrast to the general public, the external effects of industrial land redevelopment such as the protection of industrial heritage, increased open space, and an appropriate intensity of development were less important to original land users in land user-led redevelopment projects.
4.3. Comparison of Expectations among all Stakeholder Groups
In order to analyze the overall concordance between stakeholder groups with regard to the expectation-related factors of the industrial land redevelopment project studied here, a one-way ANOVA was applied, the results of which are displayed in Table 6
Since all of the P values emerged as less than 0.05, it was clear that all of the factors contained significant differences between all of the stakeholder groups. Increasing Open Space (F16), Appropriate Land Development Intensity (F18), Increasing Information Transparency (F14), and the Moderate Mixed Use of Land Functions (F11) yielded the highest F values, meaning that these factors were those that generated the most differing views across all stakeholders. The Promotion of Local Employment (F6), Improvement of Environmental Quality (F17), and Enhanced Participation and Collaboration (F15) were the factors that generated the least differing opinions.
Based on the four interviewees with members of the general public, Increasing Open Space (F16) and Appropriate Land Development Intensity (F18) should also be basic elements of public interest considered in such redevelopment projects. This was in agreement with the views of the consultant respondents. As described by a representative of consultants: “The “public interest” defined by the government pays too much attention to urban development at the macro level, but the human needs at the micro level should also be the important elements of public interest”. However, local governments and land users held different opinions. For the local authorities, industrial land redevelopment should benefit the residents of surrounding communities, but, more importantly, it should stimulate urban economic growth and bring benefits for all citizens. The interviews with the original land users in land user-led redevelopment projects conveyed that they were eager to maximize their personal economic benefits, hence, a maximum intensity of development was what they expected. The interviews with four members of the general public and four original land users showed all of them to be strongly motivated to obtain information, firmly believing that information transparency is one of the best approaches for protecting their interests. Nevertheless, the local government and consultant respondents had different opinions on this. The former feared that transparency of information would affect social stability, while the latter were concerned that it would lead to over-interference from other stakeholders in the process of industrial land redevelopment.
The 14 interviewees with consultants, members of the general public and original land users all contained strongly appealed for the proper mixing of land use functions, especially to increase the reasonable proportion of affordable housing. However, the rationale behind this differed across these stakeholder groups. The consultants argued that increasing reasonable affordable housing can optimize land use structure and promote a balanced distribution of residential and employment space to reduce energy consumption due to work-related commuting. The general public respondents believed that increasing reasonable affordable housing may alleviate the housing shortage in big cities. For the original land users, the mixed use of land functions was seen as able to provide them with higher land development benefits. Nevertheless, local government representatives held the opposite opinion. According to interviews with local government representatives, providing more industrial space to stimulate economic growth was the most important goal of industrial land redevelopment. Since the profit of residential function is higher than industrial function, in order to prevent the real estate-led industrial land redevelopment extruding the space of industry development, the local governments can only restrict the residential function in the industrial land redevelopment projects.
Increasing employment is an important goal of industrial land redevelopment. Although none of the stakeholders ignored this factor, it was not highly valued by all. With the exception of the original land users in state-led redevelopment projects, the other stakeholders were very concerned with the improvement of the environmental quality. All stakeholders insisted that their participation should be strengthened in industrial land redevelopment projects; however, their rationale behind this differed. The local government respondents believed that only by strengthening the government’s participation could the project realize the public interest. The consultants argued that their expertise could facilitate the successful implementation of the project. The members of the general public argued that their effective supervision could reduce the negative externalities of the project and ensure social equity. Finally, the original land users believed that strengthening their involvement was the best way to maximize economic benefits.
Industrial land redevelopment projects play an extremely important role in meeting the land demands of urbanization and promoting the sustainable development of urban society and economy in China. Gaining an in-depth understanding of the expectations of different stakeholders forms the foundation of sustainable industrial land redevelopment. Considering this, the current study has systematically analyzed the diverse expectations of key stakeholder groups: local governments, consulting experts, the general public, and original land users in state-led redevelopment and land user-led redevelopment projects. Regarding the social aspect, all of these stakeholders hope to strengthen their involvement in industrial land redevelopment. Social stability emerged as a key concern of local governments in this context, even though the other stakeholders paid little attention to it. Except the original land users in land user-led redevelopment projects, the stakeholders were very concerned about the protection of industrial heritage. Although the public and land users regarded information transparency as an effective way to protect their interests, local governments and consulting experts were reluctant to share information. Moreover, from the perspective of the public and consulting experts, increasing public space and implementing an appropriate density of development should also comprise the basic elements of “public interest”; however, these aspects were found not to be valued by local governments and original land users in land user-led redevelopment projects.
Regarding the environment, with the exception of the original land users in state-led redevelopment projects, the other stakeholders were very concerned with the improvement of environmental quality. Although building energy efficiency was a factor of great concern to the public and original land users in land user-led redevelopment projects, it was less important compared with other factors for the local government representatives and consultants interviewed. The proper mixing of land use functions, especially increasing residential functions, can effectively reduce social energy consumption, which was supported by most stakeholders. However, in order to prevent real estate-led industrial land redevelopment, local governments restrict residential use in industrial land redevelopment projects. For the economic aspect, industrial transformation, upgrading and local economic growth were the top priorities of local governments, and the core elements of “public interest” from the perspective of local governments, however, land users were not concerned with these. The priority of the original land users in state-led redevelopment projects was to maximize their resettlement compensation, while the original land users in land user-led redevelopment projects assigned priority to obtaining more land development income.
Due to ignorance and misunderstanding of the expectations of core stakeholders, conflicts among stakeholders are frequent in industrial land redevelopment. Clearly, it is contrary to the social sustainability. To prevent the negative externalities, understanding and meeting the needs of land users of different project types, and how to effectively balance the relationship between industrial space and residential space, are the key issues for local governments. Moreover, establishing a multi-stakeholder consultation platform and promulgating relevant laws and regulations would also be effective measures to help stakeholders to reduce conflict, so as to achieve cooperation. Strengthening education and publicity on industrial land redevelopment and cultivating NGOs are long-term strategies to enhance stakeholders’ mutual trust and participation ability.
This study has systematically analyzed diverse stakeholders’ expectations of industrial land redevelopment projects in China, the results is conducive to optimizing stakeholder participation in industrial land redevelopment projects so as to enhance social sustainability. This is the first step in obtaining a comprehensive picture of stakeholder participation in the context of industrial land redevelopment.
The stakeholder analysis method will be applied in future research to analyze the roles of core stakeholder groups and the relationships between them in industrial land redevelopment in China to build a multi-stakeholder governance mechanism to achieve participatory industrial land redevelopment.