Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2005, Vol. 60 ›› Issue (5): 827-840.doi: 10.11821/xb200505014

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The Formation, Development and Spatial Heterogeneity Patterns for the Structures System of Urban Agglomerations in China

FANG Chuanglin, SONG Jitao, ZHANG Qiang, LI Ming   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2005-03-22 Revised:2005-07-06 Online:2005-09-25 Published:2005-09-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40335049; No.40471059


The Structures Systems of Urban Agglomerations (SSUAs) in China are the spatial and synthetic polymers coupled organically by Urban Agglomerations with different development degrees, grades, political relationship, formative reasons and spatial locations through various flows of substance, power, information and knowledge. Based on the synthetic analysis of the SSUAs at home and abroad, it is found out that world SSUAs are in the process of formation, the functions with different grades for Urban Agglomerations are fabricating profoundly now through new international division of labor and region, and at the same time, although Urban Agglomerations are in the incipient phase as a whole, they are the most vigorous strategic strong point and growth pole with the greatest potential in the economic development framework in the future, and they will dominate the economic development orientation in China. The paper identifies three grades according to the calculating results using of model subject to the index of development degree for Urban Agglomerations in China. The first grade group constitutes Urban Agglomerations on the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and of capital Metropolitan Coordinating Region. The second grade consists of 11 Urban Agglomerations in Shandong Peninsula, Chengdu and Wuhan metropolitan coordinating regions. The third grade group is composed of 14 Urban Agglomerations in the central Yunnan Province and the north Tianshan Mountains. Further analyses indicate that there are great differences among the 28 Urban Agglomerations, but such differences are reasonable to some degree. They have showed some characteristics of regional heterogeneities including different development phases, non-equilibrium in overall distribution, regularities in regional heterogeneous pattern, distinct disintegration and heterogeneity in inter-conglomeration. Based on the above analyses, the paper suggests that future studies should focus on the theoretical studies of the multi-dimension, regularity and phase subject of the SSUAs in China, enhance studies on the differences in heterogeneity and competitiveness in the formation and development of the SSUAs and reinforce research on their internationalization, globalization and dynamic monitoring.

Key words: Structures System of Urban Agglomerations, formation and development, classification of grade, characteristics of spatial heterogeneity, China