Tropical Geography ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (5): 1023-1033.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003388

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Coupling and Mutual Feedback of Urban Spatial Cognition-Preference-Behavior Based on the Follow-up Survey of Graduate Students from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences

Yuzhu Ma1,3,4(), Weixuan Song1,2,3(), Xiaoli Li1,3,5   

  1. 1.Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
    2.Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
    3.University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    4.Tangzha Town Subdistrict Office of Nantong Chongchuan District, Nantong 226001
    5.Urban & Rural Development Research Center of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing 210093, China
  • Received:2020-07-06 Revised:2021-08-13 Online:2021-09-22 Published:2021-09-22
  • Contact: Weixuan Song;


Based on the classical research paradigm of "spatial cognition-spatial preference-spatial behavior" in behavioral geography, a group of postgraduate students from University of Chinese Academy of Sciences was selected as a survey object. These postgraduates had similar social attributes, life experiences, subject background, and were not very familiar with the city. In addition, they lived in the school dormitory of UCAS, which is in the rural outskirts of Beijing. This survey used a combined method of hand-painted image maps and questionnaires, which was administered three times a year. The tracking investigation was conducted to observe the processes and characteristics of urban spatial cognition, spatial preference, and spatial behavior of the interviewed group during their stay in Beijing, and to analyze the interaction and influence mechanism of this process. The study finds that there is a certain coupling among urban spatial cognition, spatial preference, and spatial behavior, showing obvious differences. The three do not reflect a one-way causality, but have a mutually influential relationship. The group attributes of cognitive subjects (such as social relationship and cultural cognition), individual differences (such as experience and emotion), and the temporal and spatial constraints (such as contact time, spatial distance, and contact frequency with the object), affect the subjects' level and development process of urban spatial cognition. In addition, in the survey of these postgraduate students, some phenomena worthy of greater attention have been identified: First, the overall cognitive level of the students is not very high, and has not significantly improved within one year. We know this because less than half of these students draw "developmental" cognitive maps in the three rounds of surveys. Second, due to the special social and cultural background of the interviewed group, the preference for cultural places is high, but the proportion of real action converted from preference is lower. Lastly, the hotspots of behavior are concentrated in the northern part of the city. The distribution of spatial agglomerations is presented, with commercial centers and transportation hubs as the core; however, the the area south of Chang'an Avenue is less involved. Accordingly, we conclude that distance limits the space perception and travel intention of postgraduates of UCAS in Beijing. It also reduces the opportunities for students to make full use of Beijing's rich public resources, such as science, education, cultural, and art venues, and to enhance their experience and ability. They even create a bad impression of the city. As an exploratory study, this paper strives to analyze the interaction process among spatial cognition, spatial preference, and spatial behavior and its influencing factors through the survey of a proper social group. In the end, a generalized feeding association model of urban spatial cognition-preference-behavior is condensed.

Key words: image maps, spatial cognition, spatial preference, spatial behavior, tracking survey, urban space

CLC Number: 

  • TU984.113