Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 78 ›› Issue (8): 2001-2018.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202308010

• Population and Urban Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatiotemporal process and driving factors of green technology diffusion in Chinese cities

DUAN Dezhong(), JIN Hong   

  1. Institute for Global Innovation and Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2022-04-02 Revised:2023-01-01 Online:2023-08-25 Published:2023-08-15
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(42271186);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41901139);MOE Project of Humanities and Social Sciences(22YJA79001)


Building a market-oriented green technology innovation system to accelerate the diffusion of green technology between regions, cities, and institutions has become a national strategy. Using green patent transfer to characterize the diffusion of green technology, this paper analyzed the temporal development dynamics and spatial distribution pattern of green technology diffusion in China from 2001 to 2020, and also discussed the main factors driving the diffusion of green technologies in Chinese cities. The study found that from 2001 to 2020, the popular technologies in China's green technology market rapidly changed from environmental governance technology to green building technology and clean energy technology, while enterprises were always the main actors of green technology diffusion. Secondly, from 2001 to 2020, with the cross-city flow of green technology becoming the new normal, a unified national green technology trading market was gradually taking shape. Thirdly, green technology diffusion activities were highly concentrated in the "T" region composed of the eastern coastal areas and the Yangtze River Economic Belt, in which the inter-city green technology diffusion formed a diamond network with the Beijing-Tianjin, Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and Chengdu-Chongqing regions as the hubs. Fourthly, following the principle of preference connection and the law of assortativity, new cities in the intercity green technology diffusion network tended to obtain green technology from hub cities, but the flow of green technology between hub cities was more frequent. Fifthly, the regression results of the model under the multi-dimensional proximity analysis framework also verified the above laws, and revealed the differences in the formation mechanism of intercity green technology diffusion caused by technology gap, geographical proximity, economic proximity and cognitive proximity among cities.

Key words: green patents, green technology diffusion, spatiotemporal pattern, city types, driving factors, China