Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (4): 711-737.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201804010

• Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Restructuring of social space in Beijing from 2000 to 2010

FENG Jian1,ZHONG Yichun1,2   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. School of Urban Planning and Design, Peking University, Shenzhen 518055, Guangdong, China
  • Received:2017-07-23 Online:2018-04-20 Published:2018-04-10
  • Supported by:
    [Foundation: National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41671157]


In this study, the authors focus on the characteristics of Beijing's socio-spatial restructuring, which were identified by spatial statistical methods based on the sixth national census. At first, factor analysis and spatial autocorrelation were used to identify the classification and main factors of social area in Beijing. Then the authors analyze socio-spatial differentiation and its evolution in Beijing through the indexes of spatial differentiation and the computing results. Results show that the main changes of social area and socio-spatial differentiation in Beijing between 2000 and 2010 include several aspects as follows: (1) The evolution of industrial structure and its spatial distribution have led to the corresponding change of socio-spatial structure in Beijing, such as occupational differentiation and the increase of its spatial differentiation. The spatial distribution of various types of occupational population reflects the evolution trend of industrial space in Beijing, such as shrinking agriculture, while urban manufacturing industry and logistics industry are more concentrated. (2) The elderly population, migrant population, Uygur population, illiterate population, and the agricultural population continue to follow the trend of the past, with gregariousness increasing and miscibility weakening. The matching consistency of the distribution of these indicators with the resident population has been weakening, which reflects that many urban problems are more prominent, such as the separation of work place and residence, commuting of the migrant population, the elderly or the empty nesters. (3) The number of migrants increased significantly, and its spatial distribution is more extensive, showing the development trend of the suburbs especially that of the outer suburbs. (4) The trend of the centralized distribution of intellectuals is becoming more and more obvious. Generally speaking, the level of education of the city has been improved, and as far as the distribution of education is concerned, there exist more differences. (5) The complexity of the housing system increased and commercial houses are widely distributed, but its spatial differentiation also increased. During the 10 years, the rapid development of real estate market lead to the substantial restructuring of spatial distribution of housing, and housing spatial differentiation increased significantly. (6) From the perspective of dynamic mechanism of urban social spatial structure and its evolution, individual differences, family differences and regional differences constitute the three levels of urban social differentiation, which present a specific urban spatial structure. The evolution of urban social-spatial structure results from intertwined effect of administrative forces, market ones and social ones. (7) Comparison of Beijing with other mega-cities in China, such as Shanghai and Guangzhou, shows that the social spatial structure of such cities has both coexistences and uniqueness.

Key words: social area, socio-spatial structure, spatial differentiation, spatial restructuring, Beijing