Spatio-temporal Evolution of the China's Inter-urban Organization Network Structure: Based on Aviation Data from 1983 to 2006

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    3. London School of Economics and Political Science, London WC2A 2AE, UK;
    4. Key Laboratory of Machine Perception, Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China;
    5. Bureau of Information and Technology, China Development Bank, Beijing, 100037

Received date: 2010-07-09

  Revised date: 2010-12-08

  Online published: 2011-04-20

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40971077; Key National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40635026


Spatial-temporal distribution pattern of inter-urban organization network and its interaction process with aviation development has always been a hot issue in regional economy and transport geography. Civil aviation is the fastest growing travel mode in China. Nonetheless, research on this issue have been limited by the lack of systematic data-- especially spatial data--as well as other related data sources, and by the limitation of the quantitative methods in exploring the organization and efficiency of the inter-urban organization network in transitional China. This paper is a general process evaluation and actual description of the spatio-temporal structural characteristics of the Inter-urban Aviation Network in China (IANC) from 1983 to 2006 based on complex network methods. The conclusions can be drawn as follows. 1) The IANC exhibits the densification trends featured by a small-world network. 2) It follows the "hub-and-spoke" network organization model. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen act as the multi-hubs, and the spatial connections among them act as the spokes. Urumqi and Kunming are particularly important local hubs; around them have formed two relatively independent local hub-and-spoke networks. 3) A "saddle-type" model has formed in the evolution of the IANC. Specifically, the structures of the eastern and western regions' aviation networks are better formed than that of the central region. 4) The cities in the IANC show a "community network" effect. To be more specific, hub cities, geographical neighboring cities, and cities with similar urban functions have similar urban spatial interaction characteristics. 5) The hub status of 35 important cities in the network varied with the development of the IANC. Moreover, there are great spatial disparities among tourist cities such as Huangshan and Lijiang, coastal cities such as Dalian and Qingdao, and western cities such as Lhasa.

Cite this article

WU Wenjie, DONG Zhengbin, ZHANG Wenzhong, JIN Fengjun, MA Xiujun, XIE Kunqing . Spatio-temporal Evolution of the China's Inter-urban Organization Network Structure: Based on Aviation Data from 1983 to 2006[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2011 , 66(4) : 435 -445 . DOI: 10.11821/xb201104001


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