Policy ideas associated with the urban minerals industry in China have shifted focus from environmental protection to industrial development in recent years. A key factor influencing the development of this industry is whether the policy system can adapt to changing policy ideas. This paper analyzes a series of policies on urban minerals issued by the central government and related departments and ministries from 1987 to 2017. Using the content analysis method, which is a quantitative methodology, the paper proposes a framework of policy tools and objects of policy intervention to analyze the evolutionary characteristics and problems associated with the development of the urban minerals industry. The research results show that the policy system of urban minerals in China has changed from the germination stage, in which urban minerals policies were embedded in environmental protection policies; to an introduction stage, in which the urban minerals policy system initially took shape; to a development stage, in which the effects of urban minerals policies have stabilized. The changing trend of urban minerals policies can be summarized as follows. First, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) gradually became the dominant policymaker. Second, the policy tools were enriched via restructuring. Third, the objects of policy intervention were continually extended to the whole industry chain. Although the policy system of urban minerals in China has promoted industrial development, certain problems remain to be resolved, such as the conflicting policies from different departments, the unreasonable combination of policy tools and improper object of policy intervention. To this end, we have proposed corresponding countermeasures and suggestions to better improve the development of the urban minerals industry.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.