Village Lead Land and Property Development in China: A study of current practice in the successful villages

Land and property development is one of the main features and driving forces for China’s urbanisation and economic growth. It is also the most contentious issue which result in numerous disputes between developers, local governments and landowners. Research on land policy and development so far tend to focus on the formal land acquisition and development process in urban areas. The bottom up land development by rural villages attracted very little attention. There are many very successful villages in China. Each of them follows a different development strategy, but one element of their success is common: they have successfully exercised their collective ownership of the land. This study will examine the land development processes in a number of successful villages in close details and identify alternative policies and approaches to land development for China’s future urbanisation.  


  • Professor Ya Ping Wang (Urban Studies University of Glasgow)
  • Professor Yanglin Wang (College of Urban and Environmental Studies, Beijing University)


January 2013 to January 2014


Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Peking University-Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy, Program on the People’s Republic of China (US$15,000)


 This project resulted in a Working Paper: ‘China’s Urbanisation from Below: Village Led Land and Property Development’ published by the funder - Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in 2014 at its website (Lincoln Institute Product Code: WP14YW1). For details, please see this report.