Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2011, Vol. 66 ›› Issue (4): 446-456.doi: 10.11821/xb201104002

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Urban Spatial Expansion Process, Pattern and Mechanism in Yangtze River Delta

CHE Qianjin1,2, DUAN Xuejun1, GUO Yao1,2, WANG Lei1,2, CAO Youhui1   

  1. 1. Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China;
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2010-01-14 Revised:2010-11-01 Online:2011-04-20 Published:2011-04-20
  • Supported by:

    Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.KZCY2-YW-339; National Science and Technology Ministry, No.2006BAJ05A11

Abstract: The investigation of the process, pattern and mechanism of urban spatial expansion has become an effective method to recognize the stages of urbanization and explore the laws of urban development as the direct result of urbanization to geographic space is the spatial expansion of cities. Based on the satellite imageries data including Landsat TM or ETM, IRS-P6 of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) from 1980 to 2007, this article, starting from the characteristics of urban spatial heterogeneity and spatial association, revealed quantificationally the diversity of urban expansion, the heterogeneity of spatial organization and the spatial evolution of "hot spot" areas, with the help of lacunarity index, fractal dimensions, expansion intensity index, expansion speed index as well as spatial association model,. The conclusions can be drawn as follows. (1) Since the 1980s, although central cities have dominated the process of regional expansion, this evolution still follows the law that "small scale agglomeration, large scale dispersion". (2) Along the Z-shaped axes, urban growth has experienced three stages, namely point-axis expansion, adhesions-type growth and spread expansion. In addition, an obvious regional integration was observed. (3) The gathering role of "hot spot" areas has been diminished, and areas along the Shanghai-Nanjing, Shanghai-Hangzhou, Hangzhou-Ningbo highways and the Yangtze River have become core areas that propel regional socio-economic development in YRD. (4) The driven forces varied in different development stages. It is the combination of economic globalization and regional urbanization that dominates the regionalization of the YRD.

Key words: process of urban spatial expansion, spatial pattern, mechanism, spatial heterogeneity, spatial correlation, Yangtze River Delta