PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2015, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (6): 657-664.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.06.001

• Urban and Transport Geography •     Next Articles

Accessibility and urban spatial connections of cities in the Silk Road Economic Belt based on land transportation

Xiaoshu CAO1,3,4, Tao LI2, Wenyue YANG3, Xiaoyan HUANG1,4, Jiangbin YIN1,4, Yongwei LIU3, Feiwen LIANG3, Wulin WANG3, Miaomiao WANG3, Huiling CHEN3, Baixian ZHANG3   

  1. 1. Institute of Transport Geography and Spatial Planning, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710062, China
    2. School of Geography and Tourism, Guangdong University of Finance & Economics, Guangzhou 510320, China
    3. Center for Urban & Regional Studies, SunYat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    4. Northwest Land and Resources Research Center, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710062, China
  • Received:2015-05-01 Revised:2015-05-01 Online:2015-06-15 Published:2015-06-15


Analyzing accessibility and urban spatial connection of the Silk Road Economic Belt is the basis for implementing the strategy of the Silk Road Economic Belt and facilitating cooperation and achieving mutual benefits of the region along the economic belt. Based on GIS spatial analysis technology, the spatial pattern of raster grid accessibility for the Silk Road Economic Belt is studied and the states of urban spatial relation are simulated using land transportation network in this research. The result shows that the spatial distribution of urban accessibility in the Silk Road Economic Belt presents clear spatial characteristics of aggregated distribution along the main corridors. Average accessibility of urban nodes as measured by travel time is 16.25 hours, and the areas accessible within 2 hours occupies 10.6% of the total area. Most of the areas with the lowest accessibility are found in the margins of the deserts, with the worst accessibility of 171 hours. Xi'an as the gateway city connects the five provinces of Northwest China and other countries, regions, and cities of the Silk Road Economic Belt. The spatial connections of Central Asian countries within e national boundaries and with cities outside are relatively weak. The Silk Road Economic Belt is forming four main axes. In the future strategic development of the Silk Road Economic Belt, it should consider to implement a "point-axis" growth structure to drive the development of corridors and central cities (dense urban area).

Key words: land transportation, accessibility, urban spatial connection, the Silk Road Economic Belt