Tropical Geography


Construction and Comprehensive Evaluation of High-Quality Development Index System of Counties in Old Revolutionary Base Areas Based on Grounded Theory

Yingmin Huang1(), Xiao Fu2, Xiaoshu Cao3, Wang Liao1()   

  1. 1.School of Architecture and Design, Jiangxi University of Technology, Ganzhou 341000, China
    2.School of Civil Engineering and Surveying and Mapping Engineering, Jiangxi University of Technology, Ganzhou 341000, China
    3.Northwest Land and Resources Research Center of Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
  • Received:2022-11-27 Revised:2023-02-08 Online:2023-10-31
  • Contact: Wang Liao;


The acceleration of high-quality development in the revolutionary old areas has played a pivotal role in advancing coordinated regional development in China. The 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party proposed a development strategy for implementing regionally coordinated development, building a new development pattern, promoting high-quality development, and accelerating the rejuvenation and development of special areas such as the revolutionary old regions. However, there is an overemphasis on economic development metrics, a disregard for local practices and characteristics, and a blending of processes and outcomes associated with the high-quality regional development evaluation indicators. To solve these issues, it is essential to establish a set of tailored indicators to evaluate and guide the high-quality and differentiated development of counties in the old revolutionary base areas. Harnessing the essence of high-quality development concept, this study proposes a logical framework for constructing an evaluation index system for high-quality development in counties within the revolutionary old areas. Using the old revolutionary base areas in Southern Jiangxi and Western Fujian as the study areas, a three-level coding process based on grounded theory was employed. This rigorous approach enabled the scientific construction of an evaluation index system for high-quality development in the revolutionary old areas. This index system comprises seven dimensions, namely, innovation-driven, economic development, urban-rural coordination, people's well-being, ecological civilization, internal and external openness, and red culture, encompassing 40 indicators. Furthermore, a critical understanding of high-quality development in the revolutionary old areas, emphasizing the need to inherit, preserve, and promote red culture as a contemporary task guided by new developmental concepts, was gained. The aim was to facilitate enhancing both the scale and structure of economic development. This indicator system uses the entropy method to ascertain the indicator weights and subsequently performs a comprehensive evaluation of the study areas. The findings indicate that innovation-driven factors play a significant role in driving the differences in the high-quality development of the revolutionary old areas. In contrast, ecological civilization is yet to exhibit sufficient potential as a driving force for high-quality development at the current stage. Notably, significant disparities exist in the level of high-quality development between the demonstration areas of Ganzhou and the old revolutionary base areas of western Fujian. These disparities are most evident in the spatial core-edge structure. Additionally, counties at the provincial boundaries demonstrate relatively low levels of high-quality development, warranting increased attention to future high-quality revitalization and development efforts. In comparison to previous research, this study contributes in three key ways. First, an evaluation index system has been constructed using a combined top-down and bottom-up approach, incorporating indicators that account for local practices and characteristics, offering a novel perspective for establishing a high-quality development index system. Second, the national strategic positioning of county-level research units in urban-rural integration development, rural revitalization, and urbanization is highlighted, with county towns identified as pivotal carriers. Urban-rural coordination was identified to be the focus of coordination at the county level. Finally, by extending the core connotations of high-quality development, this study enriches the existing understanding of high-quality development. The research findings hold significant implications for expediting the revitalization and development of revolutionary old areas and for the systematic implementation of high-quality development concepts.

Key words: high quality development, evaluation index system, grounded theory, local practice, old revolutionary base areas

CLC Number: 

  • F127