Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 77 ›› Issue (9): 2154-2173.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202209002

• Ecological Environment and Carbon Emissions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Basic theories and construction layout of eco-economic pivotal zonesin northwest China based on "Three Water Lines" strategy

ZHANG Tian1,2(), HUANG Xiaoyan1,2, LI Peng3,4, DANG Xiaohu5, CAO Xiaoshu1,2, DENG Mingjiang3,6()   

  1. 1. Northwest Land and Resource Research Center, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
    2. Key Laboratory for Urbanization and Environment Simulator in Northwest China, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
    3. State Key Laboratory of Eco-hydraulics in Northwest Arid Region of China, Xi'an University of Technology, Xi'an 710048, China
    4. Key Laboratory of National Forestry and Grassland Administration on Ecological Hydrology and Disaster Prevention in Arid Regions, Xi'an University of Technology, Xi'an 710048, China
    5. College of Geology and Environment, Xi'an University of Science and Technology, Xi'an 710054, China
    6. Engineering Research Center of Water Resources and Ecological Water Conservancy in Cold and Arid Area of Xinjiang, Urumqi 830000, China
  • Received:2021-06-21 Revised:2022-03-15 Online:2022-09-25 Published:2022-11-25
  • Contact: DENG Mingjiang;
  • Supported by:
    Major Academician Consultation Project of Chinese Academy of Engineering(2020-XZ-15);National Natural Science Foundation of China(42001097)


Water shortage, unmatched combination of resources and unbalanced regional development are acute problems in northwest China. This region has a strategic location in promoting coordinated regional development, communicating international and domestic markets, adjusting economic structure and building ecological barriers. Therefore, the construction of eco-economic pivotal zones in northwest China would contribute to relieving the eco-environmental dilemma and improving the level of regional ecological security, which has a positive influence on the national economic development. Based on the analysis of human-environment interaction, urban agglomeration and development system, population distribution and ethnic composition in northwest China under the "Three Water Lines" pattern, this study firstly interprets the basic connotation of the eco-economic pivotal zones in this region. We propose that the eco-economic pivotal zone is a strategic area for national and global man-land coordination, which could be defined from the perspectives of ecological function zone, economic hub zone, cultural integration zone and deep-land passage zone. Based on the needs of national macro-strategic layout and land-sea coordination, we clarify the multi-functional orientations of eco-economic pivotal zones. Furthermore, this paper constructs a comprehensive development pattern in northwest China under "Three Water Lines" strategy, which is composed of 9 urban growth poles, 71 city nodes, 4 development axes and 4 eco-economic pivotal zones. And the construction layout as well as the development paths of Hexi, Lanzhou-Xining, north slope of Tianshan Mountains and circum-Tarim Basin eco-economic pivotal zones are also proposed. Finally, this paper discusses the interactive mode between the eco-economic pivotal zones and China's national development strategy layout, which would help the formation of a new pattern of development in western China, and provide a scientific basis for a better understanding of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Key words: "Three Water Lines" strategy, eco-economic pivotal zone, construction layout, coordinated regional development, China