Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2016, Vol. 71 ›› Issue (12): 2155-2169.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201612007

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial expansion pattern and its driving dynamics of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei metropolitan region: Based on nighttime light data

Liwei WANG1(), Changchun FENG2   

  1. 1. Institute of Economic Research, National Development and Reform Commission, Beijing 100038, China
    2. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2016-05-16 Revised:2016-08-18 Online:2016-12-25 Published:2016-12-25
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41601155;China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, No.2015M570076


Urban spatial expansion has been research hotspot of urban geography for a long time. However, urban spatial progress and its driving forces showed diversified state under the context of different political systems and different development phases in the world. For example, there are debates on metropolitan expansion path between Western countries and China. One view advocated that metropolitan spatial expansion showed a trend from clustered to dispersed under the role of scale-economy. Another view found that above theory could not explain metropolitan spatial expansion progress in developing countries, such as China and India. In these metropolitan regions, rapid urban spatial expansion existed in "urban-rural integration" areas, not central big cities of metropolitan regions. Thus, it was different from Western developed countries due to particular political and economic factors in developing countries. In order to clarify metropolitan spatial pattern in a transitional period from planned economy to market economy, we utilized nighttime light data to analyze Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei metropolitan area from 1992 to 2012 as a case. A series of measurement methods has been used in the study, such as expansion intensity index, spatial correlation model and multi-dimensional model. The results are as follows: (1) Beijing, Tianjin, Tangshan were hotspot regions of metropolitan expansion during the whole research period. "Triangle region" among Baoding-Tianjin-Hebei were coldspot regions of metropolitan expansion. (2) Although metropolitan expansion has showed a dispersed trend, centralized powers are still strong in the progress of metropolitan development. (3) Metropolitan driving forces showed a diversified state. Market power was the main driving forces, followed by administration power, exogenous power and endogenous power. Market power, administration power and exogenous power has showed an upward trend. However, endogenous power has showed a downward trend. (4) We put forward some policy suggestions to optimize metropolitan spatial structure, such as reducing administrative intervention, building market-driven mechanism, strengthening internal and external two-way reform and promoting industrial upgrade.

Key words: Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei metropolitan area, spatial-temporal expansion, driving dynamics, nighttime light data