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High Speed Rail in China and its Potential Impacts on Urban and Regional Development



After giving a brief description of the background to the development of high speed rail in China, this article attempts to identify the spatial effects of the emerging network at the regional and urban scales, on the basis of official planning documents and recent research by Chinese academics and experts. It argues in particular that high speed rail will reinforce already strong urban centres, and, using the examples of Nanjing and Shanghai, that it will lead to major changes in urban structure within individual cities. The benefits of these changes can be enhanced through integrated planning.

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