Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (11): 2505-2520.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202011017

• Impacts of COVID-19 • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The short-term impact of COVID-19 epidemic on the migration of Chinese urban population and the evaluation of Chinese urban resilience

TONG Yun1(), MA Yong2(), LIU Haimeng3   

  1. 1. Tourism College of Hainan University, Haikou 570228, China
    2. Business School of Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China
    3. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2020-03-03 Revised:2020-10-03 Online:2020-11-25 Published:2021-01-25
  • Contact: MA Yong;
  • Supported by:
    National Social Science Foundation of China(19BJL036);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41801164)


The COVID-19 epidemic in 2020 has a severe impact on China's national economic and social development. Evaluating the short-term impact of the COVID-19 epidemic and the recovery of China's economy and society, as well as revealing its spatiotemporal characteristics, can provide a strong support for the economic situation research and urban restoration of the normalized epidemic prevention and control stage. Based on Baidu migration big data from January 13 to April 8 in 2020 and that of the same period in history, this paper constructs the Relative Recovery Index (RRI) and Recovery Gap Index (RGI). Furthermore, it reveals the daily characteristics, stage characteristics, and spatiotemporal patterns of the short-term impact of the COVID-19 epidemic at multiple scales. The results are as follows: (1) The outbreak did not affect the travel rush before the Spring Festival. The process after the Spring Festival experienced a recovery stagnation period, a rapid recovery period, and a slow recovery period. The overall degree of recovery nationwide rose from less than 20% during the stagnation period to about 60% at the end of the rapid recovery period. The slow recovery period began on March 3, with a recovery index of over 70%. It will take a long time to fully recover to the historical level. (2) The intercity activities on weekends and in holidays were significantly weakened, especially in the central and northeastern regions. (3) The impact of the epidemic on each region is significantly different, in terms of the RRI, the western region > eastern region > central region > northeastern region. (4) The degree of recovery varies significantly between cities. From the Spring Festival to April 8th, the spatial pattern was high in the south and low in the north. According to the severity of the epidemic, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chongqing are in the cluster of High confirmed case-High recovery; Hebei, Tianjin, Heilongjiang, Henan, Anhui and Hunan are in the cluster of Low confirmed case-Low recovery. (5) With the effective control of the epidemic, the recovery gap has shifted from the large-scale insufficiency of labor force in the urban agglomerations such as Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Pearl River Delta into the insufficiency in the central cities and some provincial capital cities. The results of this paper show that the use of spatiotemporal big data for real-time impact assessment of major public health emergencies have good application prospects.

Key words: COVID-19, urban resilience, spatiotemporal evolution, migration big data, human-land relationship, China