TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2015, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (3): 343-353.

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Transition of Urbanization in the Pearl River Delta

ZHOU Chunshan,DAI Dandan   

  1. (School of Geography and Planning,Sun Yat-sen University//Guangdong Key Laboratory for Urbanization and Geo-simulation,Guangzhou 510275,China)
  • Online:2015-06-05 Published:2015-06-05


This paper discusses the driving characteristics of urbanization in the PRD by analyzing data on population, industry, resource, economic, et al in the last 30 years, based on the Grey Correlation Analysis Method. Then we use the panel data model to further explore the difference and evolution of the driving force influencing the transformation of urbanization in the PRD. The results find that industry, labors and land resources are still as its major impetus. However, in recent years, the push from factors, like land resources and labors, is significantly weaken. ‘export-oriented’ pattern of the urbanization, depending on foreign trade industry, gradually fades out. The ‘knowledge-oriented’ urbanization, based on production, usage and consumption of knowledge, technology and management, is gradually emerging. In a word, the urbanization in the PRD becomes gradually diversified, as well as faces transformation. But some new problems are also revealed, including the unsustainability of traditional factor-driven urbanization, the slow development and low quality of new pushing effects of knowledge in urbanization, the lagged system construction, the under developed domestic demand, etc. All the problems demonstrate that the transition of urbanization in the PRD is urgently needed. In order to further speed up the transition of urbanization, some suggestions are raised, such as to boost ‘innovative driving forces’ of urbanization, so as to realize the ‘transition of dynamics’ of urbanization, to promote ‘quality transition’ and ‘system transition’ of urbanization by building livable environments in urban and rural areas, and speeding up the urbanization of rural migrant workers and so on.

Key words: the Pearl River Delta, urbanization, transition