Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2016, Vol. 71 ›› Issue (8): 1302-1314.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201608002

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Space syntax expand intensity index and its applications toquantitative analysis of urban expansion

Haijun WANG1,2(), Chang XIA1, Anqi ZHANG1,3(), Yaolin LIU1,2,4, Sanwei HE5   

  1. 1. School of Resource and Environmental Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Systems, Ministry of Education, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
    3. School of Urban Planning and Design, Peking University, Shenzhen 518055, China
    4. Collaborative Innovation Center for Geospatial Information Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
    5. School of Public Administration, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan 430073, China
  • Received:2015-09-25 Revised:2015-12-03 Online:2016-08-25 Published:2016-08-30
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41571384;Fund for Fostering Talents in Basic Science of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.J1103409;Land Resources Survey and Evaluation Project of Ministry of Land and Resources of China, No.DCPJ161207-01


Expand intensity index (EII) is an index commonly used to characterize the extent and speed of urban expansion. In other words, it is simply used to describe and analyze the physical spatial change from the perspective of urban area. But this index only represents the result of urban expansion neglecting the feeling of people to space and the underlying mechanisms of urban expansion. Moreover, an in-depth study is ignored on the evolving pattern of urban space and cannot reflect human activities in urban space. This paper presents a new expansion intensity index based on space syntax by considering the driving effect of transport network on urban expansion, namely space syntax expand intensity Index (SS-EII). SS-EII can reflect the syntactic variables about spatial clustering and dispersion and analyze the changes of spatial accessibility. Compared to the conventional expand intensity index, SS-EII not only cares about the result of urban expansion, but also captures the effect of transportation on the pattern and direction of urban expansion as well as the feeling of human to urban space. With Cotton Lake Town in Guangdong Province, China as an example, SS-EII is utilized to compare expansion speeds of built-up areas in different directions. It can be concluded that the result based on SS-EII is consistent to the actual situation of urban expansion and the correlation coefficient with EII is higher than 0.95.

Key words: space syntax, expansion intensity index, urban expansion, Cotton Lake Town in Guangdong Province