TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2015, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (6): 833-841.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.002758

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Spatial Structure of Urban Agglomeration in the Yangtze River Delta Based on the Analysis of Element Flow

GU Wenjuan1,OU Xiangjun1,YE Lei2,YANG Baobao1   

  1. (1.School of Urban and Environmental Sciences,Jiangsu Normal University,Xuzhou 221116,China; 2.Nanjing Institute of Geography & Limnology,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Nanjing 210008,China)
  • Online:2015-11-05 Published:2015-11-05


With the rapid socio-economic development of Chinese urban agglomeration, researches on its spatial structure and contact have achieved abundant results. Taking 30 prefecture level cities of urban agglomeration in the Yangtze River Delta as the research units, from the dynamic perspective of element flow, establishing the mathematical models of element flows and using ArcGIS drawing software, this paper quantitatively analyzes and evaluates the intensity and direction of the economic flow, traffic flow and information flow among cities of urban agglomeration in the Yangtze River Delta. By using the assignment method to score on the intensity of three element flows, the spatial structure of urban agglomeration can be divided into two level parts: the core area (including Shanghai, eight cities along the Yangtze River in Jiangsu, and the Hangzhou Bay Rim, etc.) and the radiative zone (located in the North and the South Flanks of the Yangtze River Delta Area). Based on the spatial contact characteristics between cities and spatial hierarchy structure of urban agglomeration, this paper further proposes the spatial development layout of urban agglomeration in the Yangtze River Delta. It is considered that Shanghai would be the core city, while Suzhou, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Hefei and Xuzhou the regional central cities, constituting an anti “K” pattern connected by four development axes, namely, Shanghai-Nanjing-Hefei, Shanghai-Hangzhou, Shanghai-Xuzhou, and Shanghai-Wenzhou. According to the features of city location and elements contact, the urban agglomeration would be further divided into six city groups, and form a spatial interaction pattern of point-line-area in orderly development, the central city would serve as growth of node, the development axis as connecting line, and city group as developing area.

Key words: element flow, spatial contact, spatial structure, spatial layout, urban agglomeration in the Yangtze River Delta