Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2016, Vol. 71 ›› Issue (2): 236-.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201602005

• Regional and Industrial Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Urban hinterworld in Yangtze River Delta: Empirical comparison of two network-based methods

Tao LI1,2(), Rui ZHOU1,3   

  1. 1. Urban Development Institute of Fudan University, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
    2. School of Social Development and Public Policy, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
    3. Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • Received:2015-01-27 Revised:2015-05-16 Online:2016-02-15 Published:2016-02-15


From the perspective of interlocking network, this paper compares two methods of defining urban hinterworld in the Yangtze River Delta, including the measurement of connectivity and relative connectivity. According to the theory of space of flows, relational data of enterprise branches is selected on the county-level space units in the 16 core cities. Three features have been identified. First, regional network structure could be revealed through the measurement of connectivity but the relative weak connections would be omitted. Second, administrative economy and cross-border connections could be examined deeply through the measurement of relative connectivity, especially to those space units with smaller aggregated connectivity. Third, combining these two methods together, a new way of defining urban hinterworld is proposed which could both reflect the connections between cities and also show the spaciality in the region. The findings of this paper are meaningful when the regional policies are formulated. The division of hinterworld is helpful for assessing the influences of cities and determining reasonable urban system. Empirical results enrich our understanding of the hinterworld in which both relatively strong and relatively weak connections exist at the same time. New perspectives and ways are provided to describe and analyze the relationship between center city and its hinterworld. In the new background and theoretical system, only through analysis of multi-angle observation and combination of a variety of methods we could have a deeper understanding of the regional city network, which is also an important area for future research concern.

Key words: city network, enterprise branch, hinterworld, measurement, Yangtze River Delta