Tropical Geography ›› 2020, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (5): 808-820.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003270

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Mapping the Micro-Scale Scientific and Technological Innovation Potentials of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area: A Response to Spatial Planning

Jianjian Qiu(), Yihua Liu(), Li Yuan, Chengjing Chen, Qingyao Huang   

  1. School of Geography and Remote Sensing, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
  • Received:2020-04-30 Revised:2020-07-05 Online:2020-09-28 Published:2020-10-10
  • Contact: Yihua Liu;


Innovation regularly appears at different venues and areas within cities, and its spatial stickiness has been widely studied and confirmed. However, most current research on spatial innovation has not been conducted in a micro-scale manner to decode the inner-city potentials. From an urban research perspective, this makes understanding the internal clustering mechanism a significant challenge. Thus, this article uses Points Of Interest (POI) data to explore a Scientific and Technological (S&T) spatial index system focusing on innovation potential with a consideration of three dimensions: knowledge, technology, and environment. It analyzes the micro-scale agglomeration structure of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). First, an inverted U-style innovative core belt embracing the Pearl River in the middle is formed. This area has more substantive innovation potentials on the east than the west coast. Guangdong-Foshan and Shenzhen-Dongguan innovation clusters are then built simultaneously. In both practice and theory, these research findings are consistent with the metropolitan agglomeration pattern and research on the GBA. Additional results are: 1) A notable cluster effect emerges in the spatial distribution of GBA's innovation potentials. Considering the division of dimension, knowledge-based innovation is likely to be led by Guangzhou and Hong Kong, while technological innovation stretches in strong belt-style spillovers along the Guangzhou-Shenzhen S&T Innovation Corridor. However, there is a dearth of innovation in these incubators' environments, and collaboration between them needs to be drastically improved. 2) The hotspot structure shows characteristics such as node clustering, group linking, and multicenter coexistence, while 16 Innovation-intensive Zones (IIZs) emerged in four distinct innovative pathways. These are knowledge-and-research-based, industry-led, environment-incubated, and comprehensively developed, and being close to rivers and streams are significantly influenced by the hydrophilic clustering effect, with a free and comfortable atmosphere inspiring innovation. Traditional administrative forces also have a significant impact, especially on the peripheral areas where innovative activities rely on government planning and the pull-forces from downtown. 3) From the perspective of industry differences, a robust functional differentiation is spatially mirrored. The innovation of intelligent equipment manufacturing has a strong outward diffusion, and the energy, chemical and core electronic industries display an inward node effect. While biomedicine innovation spreads across the two core areas, it is necessary to strengthen information and communication in a broader region with higher potential. 4) In a micro-scale way, an indistinct boundary shapes the Guangzhou-Dongguan-Shenzhen-Hong Kong innovation corridor. However, the need is still urgent to calibrate the regional imbalance and intensify deeply-integrated innovation in light of the vast spatial differentiation and insufficient cooperation between the east and west coasts, the Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong-Macao, and the central and peripheral areas of innovation development. Based on these issues, it is essential to strengthen the emergence of an innovative environment and integrate it with knowledge-based and technology innovation. The aim is to promote the diffusion of pivotal innovative nodes and then specify the differentiated positions of innovative industries to create a region free from boundary constraints conducive to innovation, communication, and cooperation. Thus, for spatial planning in the GBA, the quest for a higher level of innovative potential is imperative, and the integration of collaborative innovation needs to be pursued vigorously.

Key words: micro-scale innovation agglomeration, innovation potential, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, scientific and technological innovation, spatial planning

CLC Number: 

  • TU894