Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2007, Vol. 62 ›› Issue (4): 339-350.doi: 10.11821/xb200704001

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The Scientific Foundation of Major Function Or iented Zoning in China

FAN Jie   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2007-02-16 Revised:2007-03-15 Online:2007-04-25 Published:2007-04-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40341008; Knowledge Innovation Project of CAS(Theory and Scheme of Major Function Oriented Zoning in China); Key Project of National Development and Reform Commission (Major Function Oriented Zoning and Its Support System Comprised of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System)


Major function oriented zoning (MFOZ hereafter) is the guideline for optimizing the spatial pattern of regional development in China, which entails both theoretical and methodological innovation in the academic field of economic geography. This study analyzes the basic features of territorial function and puts forward a spatially equilibrium model for regional development. It argues that there exists a trend of regional convergence in almost any indicator measuring the average level of regional development status. Based on this finding, the study illustrates that the formation of functional zone should be conducive to the reduction of regional inequality and that free flow of resources across region is the prerequisite to spatial equilibrium. It also investigates the impact of territorial functional evolution on spatial processes of equilibrium and suggests that the benefit to be derived from zoning proposal is contingent upon the method of regional division and correct understanding of temporal change of territorial function. After that, this study goes to examine the scientific foundation of several issues concerning the reconciliation of contradictory functions of development and protection, the selection of indicators and the spatial and temporal features of MFOZ. It is then followed by an interrogation of the rationality of achieving dual goals of efficiency and equality simultaneously through three-dimensional flow and spatial equilibrium. The paper ends with a discussion of the position, implementation and coordination of MFOZ from the perspective of institutional arrangements of spatial governance including law, planning and government policy.

Key words: territorial function, MFOZ, regional development, spatial equilibrium, spatial governance, spatial planning, regional policy