Table of Content

    25 December 2019, Volume 74 Issue 12 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    Academician Viewpoint
    Development and management tasks of the Yellow River Basin: A preliminary understanding and suggestion
    LU Dadao, SUN Dongqi
    2019, 74 (12):  2431-2436.  doi: 10.11821/dlxb201912001
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    The Yellow River Basin and the areas along the Yellow River play an important strategic role in national development. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC, delivered an important speech at the symposium on ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River Basin in Zhengzhou, which is of great strategic significance. This paper gives a preliminary understanding of the comprehensive governance and the sustainable development of the Yellow River Basin. It points out that the task of the comprehensive and profound transformation and development of the Yellow River Basin in the new era is still arduous, and change of concept is required. Continuing to promote the clean and efficient use of energy, promoting industrial development in accordance with local conditions, preventing extensive development and protecting cultivated land resources should be regarded as important measures to strengthen the comprehensive management and guarantee the sustainable development of the Yellow River Basin. It is believed that the "Yellow River Economic Belt" does not exist at the national economic level, and it is not appropriate to identify "the Yellow River Delta" as a national strategy.

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    Regional Development Pattern and Space Governance
    The evolution process and regulation of China's regional development pattern
    FAN Jie, WANG Yafei, LIANG Bo
    2019, 74 (12):  2437-2454.  doi: 10.11821/dlxb201912002
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    China's per capita GDP has reached 64520 yuan (about 10,000 US dollars). The development process of countries around the world and the inverted U-shaped curve of regional development gaps indicate that the evolution of China's regional development pattern will step into an inflection point segment and that the development gap between regions has witnessed a switch from continuing widening to narrowing. In this paper, we discuss the evolution process of China's regional development pattern over the 40 years since 1978 before the inflection point: (1) The gap in per capita GDP between the upstream areas (the top 9 most developed provinces) and the downstream (the last 8 underdeveloped provinces) increased from 407 yuan in 1978 to 53817 yuan in 2018. (2) Under the pull of export-oriented economy and non-state-owned economy, the mean center of urbanization and economic development rotates in a clockwise direction. Southeast China has become an area with accelerated economic agglomeration. (3) China's regional development pattern has presented a diamond structure with the four core regions of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta and Chengdu-Chongqing as the apex and the connection of adjacent regions as the boundary. The GDP in these regions accounts for about 75% of the national total. In 2020, China's regional development pattern will enter an inflection point of evolution. The form is characterized by the narrowing of the regional economic gap, which is essentially a transition from non-high-quality regional development to high-quality regional development. The high-quality development of the region is a process of growth in which the ecological and social benefits will be basically synchronized in the process of sustained economic growth, and a regional high-quality development model that is differentiated by geographical functions is presented. In the next 30 years, the regulation and optimization of China's regional development pattern should focus on three types of regions: key urbanization regions, relatively underdeveloped regions, and key areas for security, as well as inter-regional interactions according to the dual objectives of promoting regional balanced (coordinated) development and high-quality development. Establishing a space governance system with the major function zoning-strategy-planning-system as the mainstay will become the basic guarantee for regulating and optimizing the regional development pattern.

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    Regional integration and interaction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area
    LIU Yi, WANG Yun, YANG Yu, MA Li
    2019, 74 (12):  2455-2466.  doi: 10.11821/dlxb201912003
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    The integration of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will inevitably encounter a series of frictions because of the cross-social system, cross-legal system and cross-administrative hierarchy. Research on the cooperation and conflict between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao is an important supplement to the integration study of the area. This paper reviews the process of integration development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area from 1997 to 2019 through the global news event database GDELT. The results show that: (1) the relationship between China's mainland and Hong Kong presents a "M" type fluctuation, and the conflict between them has been amplified by the news media compared with the mainland-Macao relationship. (2) The policy and public opinion between China's mainland and Macao are highly consistent, as the verbal cooperation between them is the leading factor of the interaction. (3) The interaction between China's mainland, Hong Kong and Macao has generally become closer, along with the increasing frequency of cooperations and conflicts. The importance of the mainland-Hong Kong relationship in the interactive relationship between Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao has been increasingly highlighted. (4) Material cooperation projects are still insufficient in the process of the regional integration of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and there is an urgent need for diversified cooperation. The economic and technological competitions and cooperations between Guangdong and Hong Kong are the main factors affecting the interactive relationship between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, as well as the tensions in Hong Kong. In the future, the coordinated development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area should focus on not only the projection of regional policies on space, but also its projection on social public opinion and the news media. It is necessary to combine the integration of physical space and virtue/discourse space, and strengthen the interactions between "hard connection" and "soft connection".

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    Geographical thinking on the relationship between beautiful China and land spatial planning
    CHEN Mingxing, LIANG Longwu, WANG Zhenbo, ZHANG Wenzhong, YU Jianhui, LIANG Yi
    2019, 74 (12):  2467-2481.  doi: 10.11821/dlxb201912004
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    Beautiful China is the new goal of ecological civilization construction in the new era of socialism, which can meet the real needs of the people for a better life. National land space planning is a major deployment of the state to coordinate various types of space planning. Beautiful China is the new leading goal of the country's second centenary development. Its connotation is not only "ecological beauty", but also the comprehensive beauty of "economy-politics-culture-society-ecology". The construction of beautiful China needs a differentiated evaluation index system based on the local conditions. Beautiful China is closely related to the land spatial planning. The former provides an important direction for the latter, while the latter provides an important approach and space guarantee for the construction of the former. The establishment of land spatial planning needs to strengthen the further discussion of the regional system of human-environment interaction, point-axis system, the main functional area planning, sustainable development and resource environmental carrying capacity, new urbanization and rural regional multi-body system. This paper puts forward the thinking framework of land spatial planning from the perspective of geography, including scientifically analyzing the natural geographical conditions, economic and social development basis, and the interrelationship between land and space, planing the goal, vision and path of land and space, encouraging the public to participate in and carry out dynamic evaluation, and building an intelligent system platform for land and spatial planning with the goal of beautiful China, which provide ideas for the compilation and implementation of land spatial planning.

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    Comparison of spatial structure and linkage systems and geographic constraints: A perspective of multiple traffic flows
    WANG Jiao'e, DU Delin, JIN Fengjun
    2019, 74 (12):  2482-2494.  doi: 10.11821/dlxb201912005
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    Transportation connection has always been one of the important perspectives of studying spatial cascading systems and urban systems. Based on the timetable data in 2018 of inter-city coach, high-speed train and aviation, this paper builds networks of the three modes of transportation in China. Through the methods of the city-pair connectivity and community detection, this paper compares the spatial structure and linkage systems of multi-traffic flow network and reveals the geospatial constraints. The research results show that: (1) Different modes of transportation are suitable for portraying urban systems on different spatial and administrative scales. Inter-city coaches are constrained by the provincial administrative boundaries. High-speed train network shows the effect of corridors especially along the main trunks. The aviation network reflects the spatial relationship at the national scale. (2) From the perspective of the direct accessibility, there is a large spatial overlap between inter-city coaches and high-speed trains, and the market of inter-city coaches is obviously squeezed in recent years. For air transport, its frequency advantage mainly concentrates on the city-pairs with a long distance. The competition and complementarity of the three modes of transportation have a great impact on the urban system and are useful for the understanding of the spatial cascading system. (3) Geographical space, infrastructure space and administrative space constraint and management system are important factors affecting the transportation networks. Inter-city coach network and high-speed train network are obviously affected by distance attenuation effects, and they present significant community structures in the two networks, but their communities have different spatial characteristics. However, air transport does not follow the constraint of distance attenuation, and there is not an obvious community structure in the network. Factors related to the passenger transport market, such as social and economic links and tourism resources, play the important roles in the aviation network structure.

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    The theory and measurement model of administrative region potential from the perspective of administrative division adjustment using Chongqing city as a case study
    WANG Kaiyong, WANG Fuyuan, CHEN Tian
    2019, 74 (12):  2495-2510.  doi: 10.11821/dlxb201912006
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    There is a lack of basic theory and methods to examine the effect of administrative division (AD) on regional development. Based on the theory and practice of Chinese AD adjustments, this study defined the concept of administrative region potential (ARP) and developed a quantitative model to measure the ARP. Then, the model was validated using Chongqing as an empirical case. The results show that: (1) the ARP consists of energy of position (i.e., geographic space factors) and gravitational potential energy (i.e., administrative management system factors). Administrative division adjustment can change the ARP, thereby changing its path and driving force or regional development. (2) The ARP model of Chongqing city can objectively reflect the effects of administrative division adjustment events on Chongqing city. Specifically, the ARP includes variables of land jurisdiction, human capital level, fixed asset investment capacity, and administrative hierarchy of fiscal decentralization and administrative decentralization. (3) The ARP promotion has a significantly positive influence on the performance of local economic development in Chongqing city. (4) Reasonable AD adjustments will assist the region by integrating production elements and resources, enhancing the political power of the city, improving its ARP, and then promoting local economic development. The ARP model is proved to be an efficient method to understand and explain the regional effect of AD adjustment. It provides a new analytical perspective for the planning of AD adjustment in various regions, which can also be used as a practical method for assessing the effects of AD adjustment.

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    New Urbanization and Rural Development
    Rural regional system and rural revitalization strategy in China
    LIU Yansui, ZHOU Yang, LI Yuheng
    2019, 74 (12):  2511-2528.  doi: 10.11821/dlxb201912007
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    Rural regional system is a spatial system with certain structure, function and inter-regional relationship, which is composed of humanity, economy, resources and environment that are connected and interacted with each other. It is a regional multi-body system, including urban-rural integrity, rural synthesis, village-town organism, and housing-industry synergy. Targeting the rural regional system and supporting the rural revitalization strategy provides new opportunities and challenges for innovation of Chinese geography in the new era. Guided by the theory of regional system of human-land system and the science of human-land system, the research on rural revitalization geography should serve national strategy by finding solutions to problems hindering rural sustainable development, and make contribution to the comprehensive study of rural regional system structure, transformation process, evolution mechanism, differentiation pattern, regional function, and rural revitalization path and model under the interaction of surface's human-land system. There is an urgent requirement to better understand and reveal differences in the types of rural regional system and their differentiation law. Taking 39164 townships in China as research object, this paper used quantitative and qualitative methods to detect and identify the dominant factors that restrict the sustainable development of rural regional systems in China. Then we divided the types of Chinese rural regional systems, revealed the pattern of rural regional differentiation and further proposed scientific approaches to rural revitalization in different areas. Results demonstrate that topographic conditions, climate conditions, ruralization level, land resources endowment, population mobility and aging level are the dominant factors restricting the sustainable development of rural regional system, of which reflects the level of resource endowment, endogenous power and external aid of rural development. Through cluster analysis and spatial overlay of dominant factors, China's rural regional system can be divided into 12 first-class zones and 43 second-class zones. The first-class zones are named by means of 'geographical location + driving force of dominant factors', and the second-class zones are named by means of 'regional scope + driving force of dominant factors + economic development level'. The driving force of rural sustainable development in different regional types are varied. The regional pattern and path of rural revitalization in different types of areas are varied, and promoting the rural revitalization strategy should be based on local conditions to realize the coordination and sustainable development of rural economy, society, culture and ecosystem.

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    Theoretical analysis of urbanization and eco-environment coupling coil and coupler control
    FANG Chuanglin, CUI Xuegang, LIANG Longwu
    2019, 74 (12):  2529-2546.  doi: 10.11821/dlxb201912008
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    There is an extremely complex nonlinear coupling relationship between urbanization and eco-environment. How to coordinate this relationship has become a global strategic problem and a worldwide scientific problem. First, based on theoretical analysis, this paper revealed the coupling, coupling relationship, coupling degree and coupling tower of interaction between urbanization and eco-environment. Second, by analyzing the main controlling factors, ten kinds of interaction modes between urbanization and eco-environment are summarized. Third, according to the strength of coupling degree, we have identified six coupling types, including low coupling, slight coupling, moderate coupling, high coupling, excellent coupling, and full coupling, which correspond to the random coupling, indirect coupling, loose coupling, synergistic coupling, tight coupling and control coupling, respectively. Then, urbanization and eco-environment coupling tower was formed. Finally, the theory of urbanization and eco-environment coupling coil was established. Through rotating the graph by 10°, we built 45 kinds of coupled graphs, including linear graph, index curve graph, logarithmic curve graph, double index curve graph and S-shaped curve graph. Different graphs represent different urban development modes, stages and characteristics. Among them, S-shaped curve coupled graph is optimal, and it reflects the best state of urbanization and eco-environment coupling. After that, we amplified the S-shaped coupled graph, and then constructed a coupler (UEC) based on the SD model and the complex relationship between different variables. The coupler consists of 11 regulatory elements and 201 variables, and can control the coupling state between urbanization coil and eco-environment coil. In general, the above control types include static control of multiple cities at the same time, dynamic control of a single city at different times, and dynamic control of multiple cities at different times. Through coupler control, urbanization coil and eco-environment coil can keep the best dynamic and orderly state. In addition, if one variable changes, the structure, function and simulation results of the coupler will also be affected. Finally, with the increase of control intensity, the coupler will gradually improve the coupling degree between urbanization coil and ecological environment coil.

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    Progress and prospects of the coupling research on land use transitions and rural transformation development
    LONG Hualou, GE Dazhuan, WANG Jieyong
    2019, 74 (12):  2546-2559.  doi: 10.11821/dlxb201912009
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    During the process of urban-rural transformation development, land use transitions and rural transformation development are important features of the evolution of rural territorial system. The systematic study on the coupling process and interaction mechanism of land use transitions and rural transformation development is helpful to reveal the inherent law for rural territorial system evolution. The research on the interactions between land use and rural development has gradually become an important part of rural geography research, which can provide a theoretical support for optimizing related policies concerning rural development and land use. The research of land use transitions constructs a new perspective for deepening rural geography research. Coupling research on the land use transitions and rural transformation development provides a reference for formulating rural development strategies according to local conditions and regulating rural land use policies. At present, the theoretical analysis, implementation plan and internal mechanism of the coupling research between land use transitions and rural transformation are still lack of systematic construction. The path to the optimization of rural transformation and reconstruction based on coupling research is still under exploration. Accordingly, based on the systematic summary on the coupling research progress of land use transitions and rural transformation development, this paper proposes the targeted prospects to enrich the research content of rural geography based on the theoretical framework of coupling analysis, pattern-process coupling, and coupling oriented by gradient differentiation.

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    Approaches to rural transformation and sustainable development in the context of urban-rural integration
    CAO Zhi, LI Yurui, CHEN Yufu
    2019, 74 (12):  2560-2571.  doi: 10.11821/dlxb201912010
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    Exploring the evolution rules of rural transformation is significant for systematically understanding stages of rural development, judging trends of rural development, determining paths of rural sustainable development and promoting rural vitalization. Based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory, industrial structure evolution theory, and regional spatial structure theory, this paper deduced the evolutionary stages of rural transformation. The evolutionary stages were verified by analysis of the development process of typical villages. Further, this paper explored the implication for rural sustainable development in the new era. The results showed that: (1) Evolutionary process of rural transformation included four stages. The first was the cropland-engineering stage, aiming at realizing the need for food and clothing under the uniform distribution of productivity. The second was the agricultural structure adjustment stage, aiming at increasing income under the intensifying urban-rural relationship status. The third was the industrial restructuring, aiming at improving the quality of life under the strengthening of regional linkages. The fourth was the stage of promoting the equalization of public service facilities with the goal of urban-rural equivalence under the urban-rural integration. (2) The development course of typical developed villages confirmed the evolution rules of rural transformation to some extent. (3) In practice, the evolutionary process of rural development presented skip or parallel phenomena because of regional differentiation of resources, location, market size, and willingness. According to the changes of the roles of different groups in development course, each stage could be subdivided into initial stage, transition stage, and maturation stage. (4) Based on the analysis of evolutionary rules of rural transformation, the paths of rural sustainable development in different types of region included land consolidation and agglomeration path, specialty industrial development path, industrial platform for collection and distribution path, and community function intensification path in the context of urban-rural integration.

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    Impacts of construction land expansion on landscape pattern evolution in China
    LI Guangdong, QI Wei
    2019, 74 (12):  2572-2591.  doi: 10.11821/dlxb201912011
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    Exploring the impact mechanisms of construction land expansion on landscape pattern changes is one of the critical tactics to understanding how human activities affect ecosystem function, pattern, and process change. However, the lack of macro-scale data and spatial analysis methods on construction land expansion and landscape has hindered China's national scale study. In response to this, here we use the recently available built-up area ratio data and the corresponding land use data to characterize the spatiotemporal process of construction land expansion and landscape metrics between 1975 and 2014 based on the 10 km grids at the national scale. And the spatial econometric model was adopted to quantitatively investigate the influence mechanism of construction land expansion process on landscape pattern evolution. At the same time, the spatial-temporal heterogeneity of the influence of construction land expansion process on the evolution of landscape pattern is examined based on the comparisons, different scale cities and different regions of China. The study found that the value of built-up area ratio has increased by threefold in the past 40 years, which is higher than the growth level of demographic urbanization in the same period. The construction land expansion has significant gradient differences between the eastern, the central and the western regions, and the gradation of difference is gradually increasing. Average annual growth rates are 5.87%, 2.32% and 2.32%, respectively, in periods 1975-1990, 1990-2000 and 2000-2014. Meanwhile, the differences between large, medium-sized and small cities are also significant. Owing to the effects of frequent human activities, the landscape pattern has also experienced significant changes. For example, the dominance of leading type has gradually decreased, the landscape pattern has become fragmented, the complexity has increased, the proximity has become more discrete, the contagion has gradually decreased, the cohesion has increased, and landscape diversity and evenness have increased. With the improvement of construction land expansion level, the landscape is becoming more and more fragmented, and the intensity and frequency of human interference to the landscape are also increasing. Every 1% increase in the expansion of construction land, for example, caused a 0.45% increase in the number of patches. However, the changes in construction land expansion level and landscape complexity are spatially mismatched. To the extent that the improvement of the level of construction land expansion has brought the distance between the same types of patches and the contagion index has decreased, and the landscape became more and more dense and aggregating, and the corresponding cohesion degree is also getting higher and higher, and the landscape equalization and even distribution are more and more obvious. At the same time, it is found that the influences of different time periods, different scale cities and different regions are significant for impact mechanisms of construction land expansion on landscape pattern changes. Besides geographical location, the other control factors have different influences on the evolution of landscape pattern.

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    Resources, Environment and Sustainable Development
    Identifying the key factors influencing Chinese carbon intensity using machine learning, the random forest algorithm, and evolutionary analysis
    LIU Weidong, TANG Zhipeng, XIA Yan, HAN Mengyao, JIANG Wanbei
    2019, 74 (12):  2592-2603.  doi: 10.11821/dlxb201912012
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    As the Chinese government ratified the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016, the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product (carbon intensity) from 60% to 65% of 2005 levels must now be achieved by 2030. However, as numerous factors influence Chinese carbon intensity, it is key to assess their relative importance in order to determine which are most important. As traditional methods are inadequate for identifying key factors from a range acting simultaneously, machine learning is applied in this research. The random forest (RF) algorithm based on decision tree theory was proposed by Breiman (2001); this algorithm is one of the most appropriate because it is insensitive to multicollinearity, robust to missing and unbalanced data, and provides reasonable predictive results. We therefore identified the key factors influencing Chinese carbon intensity using the RF algorithm and analyzed their evolution between 1980 and 2014. The results of this analysis reveal that dominant factors include the scale and proportion of energy-intensive industries as well as fossil energy proportion and technical progress between 1980 and 1991. As the Chinese economy developed rapidly between 1992 and 2007, effects on carbon intensity were enhanced by service industry proportion and the fossil fuel price such that the influence of traditional residential consumption also increased. The Chinese economy then entered a period of deep structural adjustment subsequent to the 2008 global financial crisis; energy-saving emission reductions were greatly enhanced over this period and effects on carbon intensity were also rapidly boosted by the increasing availability of new energy and its residential consumption. Optimization of energy and industrial structures, promotion of technical progress, green consumption, and the reduction and management of emissions will be key to cutting future carbon intensity levels within China. These approaches will all help to achieve the 2030 goal of reducing carbon emission intensity from 60% to 65% of 2005 levels.

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    Modelling the sustainability of China's growth based on the resource and environmental carrying capacity
    NIU Fangqu, SUN Dongqi
    2019, 74 (12):  2604-2613.  doi: 10.11821/dlxb201912013
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    Since the reform and opening up in 1978, China has created a miracle of long-term high-speed economic growth, but the relationship between man and nature has suffered a serious damage, which is highlighted by the excessive consumption of resources and the intensification of environmental pollution. As a result, China is facing a slowdown in development. At the same time, China needs to maintain a certain speed of development in order to realize the dream of a powerful nationality entering the ranks of developed countries in 2050. To this end, China is facing transformation development. Now Chinese scholars and governments need to answer this kind of question: What economic growth rate is expected along with the corresponding development modes or means of regulation in the medium and long term? The growth development mode of the national economy is influenced and even dominated by the resource and environment support system. This study is intended to reveal the coupling relationship between economic growth, development modes and the supporting system, simulate the interaction process between them, explore the possible options for future economic growth and its requirements for the resource and environmental support system (the main factors), and provide early warning regarding China's environmental and development status. The results show that in order to achieve the development goal of entering the ranks of developed countries in 2050 and maintaining a fine ecological environment, the suitable growth rate for China's economy is 3.8%-6.3% on the premise that technological progress will improve resource utilization efficiency and reduce pollution emissions. Within this speed range, on the one hand, the smaller development velocity may be adopted to reduce the pressure on resources and environment, on the other hand, higher velocity can be adopted given that we are optimistic about the technological advances. The model proposed could help to compare different development scenarios and determine a better development mode; this way provides decision support for sustainable development. This study is a response to the "Future Earth" framework document. It develops the theoretical system of the resource and environmental carrying capacity in terms of development speed. It has important theoretical exploration significance and application value.

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    Spatio-temporal evolution patterns and influencing factors of PM2.5 in Chinese urban agglomerations
    WANG Zhenbo, LIANG Longwu, WANG Xujing
    2019, 74 (12):  2614-2630.  doi: 10.11821/dlxb201912014
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    As the main form of China new urbanization, urban agglomerations are the important platform to support national economic growth, promote regional coordinated development and participate in international competition and cooperation, but they are also the core area of air pollution. This paper selects PM2.5 data from NASA atmospheric remote sensing image inversion from 2000 to 2015, and uses GIS spatial analysis and Spatial Durbin Model to reveal the temporal and spatial evolution pattern characteristics and main controlling factors of PM2.5 in China's urban agglomerations. The main conclusions are as follows: (1) From 2000 to 2015, the PM2.5 concentration of China urban agglomerations showed a volatility growth trend. In 2007, there was an inflection point. The number of low-concentration cities declined, and the number of high-concentration cities increased. (2) The concentration of PM2.5 in urban agglomerations was in the pattern of high in the east and and low in the west, with the "Hu Huanyong Line" as the boundary. The spatial difference between urban agglomerations is significant, and the difference is increasing. The concentration of PM2.5 is growing faster in urban agglomerations in the eastern and northeastern regions. (3) The urban agglomeration of PM2.5 has a significant spatial concentration. The hot spots are concentrated to the east of the "Hu Huanyong Line", and the number of cities continues to rise. The cold spots are concentrated to the west of the "Hu Huanyong Line", and the number of cities continues to decline. (4) There is a significant spatial spillover effect of PM2.5 pollution among cities within urban agglomerations. The main controlling factors of PM2.5 pollution in different urban agglomerations have significant differences. Industrialization and energy consumption have a significant positive impact on PM2.5 pollution. Foreign direct investment has a significant negative impact on PM2.5 pollution in the southeast coastal and border urban agglomerations. Population density has the significant positive impact on PM2.5 pollution in the region, and has the opposite result in the neighbouring areas. Urbanization level has a negative impact on PM2.5 pollution in national-level urban agglomerations, and has the opposite result in regional and local urban agglomerations. The high degree of industrial structure has a significant negative impact on PM2.5 pollution in the region, and has the opposite result in the neighboring regions. Technical support has a significant impact on PM2.5 pollution, but there are also lag effects and rebound effects.

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    Local and distant virtual water trades in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region
    SUN Si'ao, ZHENG Xiangyi, LIU Haimeng
    2019, 74 (12):  2631-2645.  doi: 10.11821/dlxb201912015
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    Virtual water transfers can redistribute water resources among different regions, hence to reduce or aggregate water scarcity in one region. The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, which is located in the North China Plain, has long been suffered from water scarcity. Knowledge on virtual water trades within and beyond this region is vital for understanding water resources problems and making responding strategies. In this study, water footprints and virtual water in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei are computed based on the multi-regional input-output table and provincial water uses in China in 2010. Spatial patterns and characteristics of virtual water flows are analyzed, with an emphasis on separate accounting of local and external virtual water transfers. In addition, the relationships between virtual water transfers and distances from Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei to provinces where virtual water is from are examined. Main results include: (1) Water use intensities of different sectors in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei present a big variability. Agricultural water use intensity is the highest. (2) Per capita water footprints in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei present large difference, which are 405 m 3, 568 m 3 and 191 m 3, respectively. (3) Imported virtual water in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei come from different provinces all over China. Local and external water footprints are 9.14 billion m 3 and 19.85 billion m 3, respectively. The region contributing the largest share of external virtual water to Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region is the western region in China. (4) Overall, virtual water inflows in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei tend to come from neighbouring provinces. Average distances of virtual water inflows in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei are 1049 km, 1297 km and 688 km, respectively. (5) Beijing and Tianjin import net virtual water, indicating that the socio-economic development in Beijing and Tianjin heavily relies on external water resources. Hebei exports net virtual water, providing water resources to Beijing, Tianjin and other provinces in China. Net virtual water export in Hebei aggregates local water scarcity. The results benefit policy implications on sustainable water resources management under the framework of virtual water trade. Solutions possibly relieving water scarcity in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region include increasing water use efficiency, upgrading industrial structure, promoting low water footprint consumption mode, and implementing virtual water strategy.

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