TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (4): 525-535.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003058

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Characteristics and Factors of Shrinking Cities in Guangdong Province: A Case Study of Guancheng in Dongguan City

FU Jiaming,LIU Yihua   

  1. (School of Geographic Science,Guangzhou University,Guangzhou 510006,China)
  • Online:2018-07-05 Published:2018-07-05

Abstract: Since the 21st century, both the economy and urbanization have been flourishing but at the same time facing a problem of partial shrinkage on population in Guangdong Province, which makes the Spatio-temporal Pattern of development complicated. Therefore, a series of qualitative and quantitative methods, such as field research, qualitative interview, mathematical statistics and GIS spatial analysis, have been made to analyze the characteristic, types and factors of population shrinkage in some cities of Guangdong Province. The study in Guangdong Province shows that: from 2000 to 2010, the population in Guangdong Province was partially shrinking to a small extent and it has differentiation on space and type. What cause this phenomenon are the following factors: unbalanced regional development, transformation and updating of the industrial structure, suburbanization as well as adjustment of administrative divisions. Based on those factors, the population shrinkage in Guangdong Province can be classified into four types: partial shrinkage in peripheral area, partial shrinkage in manufactural area, partial shrinkage in central area and statistical shrinkage by adjustment of administrative divisions. Based on the mentioned results above, the following two conclusions can be drawn. On the one hand, although the mainstream is urban development and population expansion, the phenomenon of urban shrinkage, as the main characteristic of population shrinkage, is also taking placing in Guangdong Province, while its urbanization is rapid developing. On the other hand, this phenomenon of shrinkage in Guangdong has both general character (reflecting features and marketing influence) and specific character (reflecting shrinkage intensity and political system), as compared with western research. Shrinkage in central area is a typical characteristic in western shrinking cities, however, such type of studies in China has been lacking.Guancheng, as the central urban area of Dongguan in last century, has fallen into shrinkage, suffering from a gradual loss of vitality of economic development as well as loss of population. Therefore, it can be taken as a typical example to be analyzed. Studies show that its shrinkage was characterized by continuous loss of external population, sustained slowdown of economic growth as well as change in function and status of city. Under the power of subjective and objective push-pull force, population shrinkage in Guancheng resulted from the decline of the expectation of external population and labor demand. The case study of Guancheng would fill the blank of domestic research of shrinkage of central urban area. Its factors especially transformation and updating of the industrial structure would representatively reflect the changes in industrial structure of the Pearl River Delta in recent years. Yet at the same time, the characteristics of urban function transformation and urban status decline distinguish Guancheng from other shrinking cities. That is why this case study would have meaning both in theory and reality.

Key words: shrinking cities, population shrinkage, central urban area, Guangdong Province, Dongguan City