Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2009, Vol. 64 ›› Issue (4): 399-407.doi: 10.11821/xb200904002

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Urban Allometric Growth in China: Theory and Facts

LI Xun, CHEN Gangqiang, XU Xueqiang   

  1. School of Geographical Science and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2008-09-27 Revised:2009-02-02 Online:2009-04-25 Published:2009-04-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40871066; No.40830532; Key Project of the Ministry of Education of China, No.08JJD820170


Based on a review on urban allometric equation, this paper analyzes the allometric growth relationship between urban area and urban population in China by using the data of the urban built-up area and the total population of cities and towns in 1990, 2000 and 2005. After an in-depth discussion of the standard value of the scaling factor, the paper concludes that urban growth in China is negative allometry in 1990 and positive one in 2000 and 2005. Sample cities in the eastern and western China also show the same law. In contrast to this, cities in central China maintain the original proportion of built-up land growth with population growth; however, they show positive allometry in 2005 because of the promotion policy for central China. The conclusion is closely related to the changes in migrant population, housing system reform and the rapid expansion of development zones.

Key words: urban allometric growth, urban built-up area, population of cities and town