Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 78 ›› Issue (8): 1869-1887.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202308002

• Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Measurement and spatio-temporal pattern of urban-rural integrated development in China

ZHENG Yuhan1,2(), LONG Hualou3,4()   

  1. 1. School of Architecture and Planning, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
    2. Hunan Key Laboratory of Sciences of Urban and Rural Human Settlements in Hilly Areas, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
    3. School of Public Administration, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
    4. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2022-06-23 Revised:2023-04-17 Online:2023-08-25 Published:2023-08-15
  • Contact: LONG Hualou;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971216);National Natural Science Foundation of China(42293270);Fund of Hunan Key Laboratory of Sciences of Urban and Rural Human Settlements in Hilly Areas(HNU-SAP-KF220205)


Urban-rural integrated development is an advanced stage in the evolution of the urban-rural relationship, and it is also the basic path and main goal for the implementation of rural revitalization. Scientifically understanding and identifying the integration stage and its current level of urban-rural development in China is the prerequisite basis for promoting urban-rural integrated development and rural revitalization. Based on the concept connotation, this paper constructed a multi-dimensional evaluation system of urban-rural integrated development at the prefecture level. The process status and spatiotemporal divergent characteristics of urban-rural integrated development in 336 prefecture-level regions in China from 2000-2018 were portrayed and revealed. The results show that: (1) The current state of urban-rural integrated development in China is generally at a low-to-middle level, showing a heterogeneous spatiotemporal pattern with apparent gradient divergence. The integrated development level of the Pearl River Delta, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, and the Shandong Peninsula is high, but the regions distributed to the west of the "Hu Line" develops slowly. (2) According to the level and characteristics of integrated development, the 366 prefecture-level regions can be divided into four types: integrated development, tending integration, imbalanced development, and lagging development, with a more active transformation between the latter three types. (3) The development level of urban-rural economic integration is higher than that of demographic and social integration, while the development process of urban-rural spatial and ecological integration shows some natural zonal divergent characteristics. Finally, we identified the problem areas for different types of integrated development and explored the regional promotion path of urban-rural integrated development, which could provide scientific references for the strategies of regional urban-rural development and rural revitalization.

Key words: urban-rural integrated development, level measurement, spatiotemporal patterns, China, prefecture-level scale