PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2015, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (3): 313-320.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2015.03.006

• Urban Agglomeration • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Review of range recognition research on urban agglomerations

Shouqiang CHEN1,2, Jinchuan HUANG1()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2015-01-01 Revised:2015-03-01 Online:2015-03-25 Published:2015-03-25


Urban agglomeration is an important form of regionalized city development, but also an iconic product of advanced regional industrialization and urbanization. Based on the diverse conceptual evolution processes of urban agglomeration and focusing on the technical method s and approaches for the identification of urban agglomerations, this article reviews in detail the research progress of the range identification of urban agglomeration growth. It concludes that the main reasons that academia seldom reach consensus on the spatial extent of urban agglomeration are as follows: there exist significant differences in the understanding of the essence of the concept, definition, smallest unit of analysis, and choice of identification methods of urban agglomeration. This article clarifies the main research methods of range identification of urban agglomeration: (1) the traditional socioeconomic index method represented by defining metropolitan areas in the United States has broad influence and has set the fundamentals of range identification of urban agglomerations in the West; (2) applying gravity models for the recognition of the scope of influence of central cities has become the main method for urban agglomeration range identification research in China; (3) using spatial analysis technology in GIS as means, integrated simulation methods incorporating integrated indicators and modeling methods represent the future trend of study on the recognition and identification of urban agglomeration growth.

Key words: urban agglomeration, range recognition, spatial scope identification, research progress