Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (6): 1223-1236.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202006010

• Urban-Rural Integration and Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evolution and enlightenment of foreign spatial planning: Exploration from the perspective of geography

YANG Qingyuan1, LUO Kui1(), LAO Xin2   

  1. 1. School of Geographical Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China;
    2. School of Economics and Management, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China
  • Received:2019-01-01 Revised:2020-03-12 Online:2020-06-25 Published:2020-08-25
  • Contact: LUO Kui
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41901195);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41801155);Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities(SWU118084)


With the rapid increase of productivity, the intense conflict between human and environment has given birth to the discipline of spatial planning. As an indispensable tool for reconciling man-land relationship, high-quality spatial planning is essential for the reasonable utilization of space resources and the promotion of sustainable socio-economic development. Adapting to the rules of man-land interaction is the premise of conducting high-quality spatial planning, which is unachievable without the support of geography. Using bibliometric and typical case analysis method, this study conducts an in-depth analysis of researches and practices on foreign spatial planning from the perspective of geography. The main findings were demonstrated as follows: (1) as a science focusing on "space", geographical theories and methods are indispensable in the reform of spatial planning. Traditional geographical theories still play a pivotal role in spatial planning, while the post-structuralist geographical theories such as relational geography are increasingly applied. Currently, the traditional spatial planning based on an isolated perspective and linear growth can hardly meet the requirements of socio-economic development, while the geographical perspective based on the relationship network combined with multiple developmental trajectories may be conducive to promoting the rationalization of spatial planning. (2) A country's geographical research will greatly affect its spatial planning. For example, the central place theory has made Germany one of the countries with the most balanced spatial development, while the geographical research achievements in Japan have supported the formation of the territorial development pattern dominated by three urban agglomerations. Thus, improving the geographical research level is a cornerstone to promote the healthy development of spatial planning. For China, in the process of promoting the localization of foreign theories, geographers should proceed from the perspective of man-land relationship areal system, in order to provide scientific guidance for resolving unprecedented fierce conflicts between human and environment. (3) Because of the regionality, comprehensiveness, complexity and multi-scale characteristics of the man-land relationship areal system, the construction of a spatial planning system with distinct levels and complementary functions is the guarantee for the operability of spatial planning. Overall, as a science of humanistic pragmatism, geography ought to propose scientific and reasonable policy suggestions aimed at the major national need—the reform of spatial planning, through innovative theories, methods and technological approaches that root in real-world situations, thus contributing to the harmonious development of man-land relationship.

Key words: spatial planning, geography, man-land relationship, evolution, enlightenment