Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2009, Vol. 64 ›› Issue (2): 189-201.doi: 10.11821/xb200902006

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Spatial Variation and Its Mechanism of Lanzhou's Capital Density from 1949 to 2005

YANG Yong-chun1, WU Jun-hui1,2, YANG Xiao-juan1, HOU Li1, LI Zhi-yong1, XIANG Fa-min1   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems, School of Resource and Environmental Science,Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China;
    2. Sichuan Institute of Urban Planning and Design, Chengdu 610000, China
  • Received:2008-01-19 Revised:2008-09-30 Online:2009-02-25 Published:2009-02-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Fundation of China, No.40771064; Project for Talented People of the Ministry of Education of China in the 21st Century; New Lanzhou University Foundation for Talents


We obtained data by using high-accuracy images and doing large-scale field surveys, and then analyzed indexes of building height by using GIS and mathematical methods to research into the variation of capital densities by districts and by callings in the city of Lanzhou. Moreover, we measured degree of city compactness by the ratio of increment of capital stock to increment of built-up area in the perspective of capital, and then research into the changing process of compact trend in Lanzhou. Results are drawn as follows: (1) Capital densities in cities decline notably from center to periphery under market economic system, however, those in Chinese cities decline slowly or are distributed evenly under planned economic system, even there are increasing trends. What's more, the mode of spatial distribution of capital density in Chinese cities during the transitional period is between these two foregoing modes and it is closer and closer to the mode in market economy. (2) Under planned economic system, land use in Chinese cities show a mode of commerce, residence, industry and agriculture from center to periphery, which is different from the mode of commerce, industry, residence, agriculture from center to periphery under market economic system. (3) It is hackneyed that high or low buildings are distributed in zones where most buildings are low or high, and this phenomenon is related to different development modes among units since the implementation of the reform and opening up started in 1978 and the factors such as market economic system cannot exert great impact on land exchange and land use transform. (4) Heights of residential, commercial and office buildings during transitional period are notably higher than those during planned economic period and the mode of spatial distribution is closer to the mode under market economic system, which is notably related to high degree of marketization. (5) In view of capital, if the phenomena of land use deflation and severe authorization policy do not change substantively, Chinese cities will be more and more compact. Moreover, as time passes by, spatial change curve of capital densities in Chinese cities shows a notable regulation of undulation raise like flying-geese, moreover, the increasing rate of building height is also in the speedup way.

Key words: Lanzhou, capital density, floor-area ratio of buildings, spatial distribution