Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 76 ›› Issue (6): 1394-1407.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202106006

• Population and Urban Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Network structure resilience of cities at the prefecture level and above in China

WEI Shimei(), PAN Jinghu()   

  1. College of Geography and Environmental Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Received:2020-05-03 Revised:2021-04-14 Online:2021-06-25 Published:2021-08-25
  • Contact: PAN Jinghu;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(42071216);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41661025)


With the rapid development of information technology, the interweaving physical infrastructure and virtual urban networks show more abundant connotations. As one of the most effective indicators to measure regional resilience, urban network structure resilience focuses on the capacity of the urban network system to restore, maintain, or improve the original network characteristics and important functions when faced with external acute shock and chronic pressure. Therefore, evaluating the resilience of the urban network structure is of great significance for recognizing and understanding regional resilience. Taking 346 cities of China at the prefecture level and above as the research objects, this study constructed information, transportation, economic, and comprehensive connection networks based on the Baidu index, Tencent location services, and social statistics data. The resilience of the urban network was then measured and evaluated in four aspects: hierarchy, heterogeneity, transmissibility, and diversity. The last two properties are in interrupting simulation scenarios. Accordingly, the optimization strategies and suggestions for the network structure were put forward. Based on the results, the following conclusions can be drawn: (1) Although China's information, transportation, economic, and comprehensive networks among the 346 prefecture-level cities and above in 2017 presented a spatial pattern of "dense in the east and sparse in the west" with "Hu Huanyong Line" as the boundary, their spatial structures exhibit their own characteristics. (2) The hierarchy of information, transportation, and economic networks from strong to weak is in the following order: economic network > information network > transportation network. Large cities and provincial capital cities have a higher hierarchy in a network because of the rapid innovation and dissemination of information technology, the high development and agglomeration of industrial economy, and the rapid allocation and improvement of traffic infrastructures. (3) The three major networks of information, transportation, and economy are all heterogeneous. In the information network, there are more opportunities for cross-regional communication between high-weighted and low-weighted nodes, thereby exhibiting the highest heterogeneous resilience. (4) The transmissibility and diversity resilience of information network was slightly higher than those of the economic network and much higher than those of the transportation network. Failures or perturbations of a city have almost the same impact on network transmissibility and diversity. Cities that have a great impact on the resilience of China's urban network structure typically exhibit high centrality and control power. These cities not only have a higher level of economic development and a relatively sound transportation hub, but also exhibit superiority with regard to their geographical conditions and distribution of natural resources.

Key words: urban network, network structure resilience, spatial analysis, spatial big data, China