Planning and recovery following the great 1976 Tangshan earthquake

Yang Zhang, Chun Zhang, William Drake, Robert Olshansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recovery of Tangshan following the Great 1976 Earthquake was an illustrative microcosm of the planning culture and the evolving national politics in China. The early recovery planning was driven by the central state’s ideological priorities. The national reform that started in the late 1970s catalyzed China’s shift toward a more pragmatic development approach. Within this changing national context, the Tangshan recovery plan was fundamentally adjusted in 1982. Although the earthquake recovery was a long, turbulent process, Tangshan ultimately emerged with a vastly improved built environment. This allowed the city to better capitalize on the national economic reforms after the earthquake recovery was completed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-243
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Planning History
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 14 2015


  • China
  • Disaster recovery
  • Planning
  • Tangshan earthquake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


Dive into the research topics of 'Planning and recovery following the great 1976 Tangshan earthquake'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this