Orthodox Western environmental practice and its associated discourse posits a positive causal link between levels of participation and effective environmental governance and regards participatory practices as a normatively desirable element in the building of a more sustainable society. However, recent discussions around theories of authoritarian environmentalism have challenged some basic assumptions of orthodox environmentalism. However, these discussions still lack sufficient discussion of real-world policy making and implementation and this article addresses that gap by exploring China’s policy of green urbanization, deemed a top priority by Chinese policy elites. We argue that the shifting strategies of governance associated with green urbanization are evidence of the emergence of a distinct paradigm of authoritarian environmentalism, characterized by a re-centralization of state power and a reduction of local autonomy, in environmental policy making in China.
- Sustainable infrastructure