PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (8): 975-982.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.08.006

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Hourly communication area: A case study of Xiamen-Zhangzhou-Quanzhou urban agglomerations, China

Yuee ZENG1(), Shidai WU2,*()   

  1. 1. College of Resource and Environmental Science, Quanzhou Normal University, Quanzhou 352000, Fujian, China
    2. Institute of Geography, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
  • Online:2016-08-25 Published:2016-08-25
  • Contact: Shidai WU;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41171147


Hourly communication area (HCA) study has attracted significant attention in China within the context of urban agglomeration research. Using ArcGIS 10.1, this study analyzes the data on traffic networks as well as from the surveys conducted in Xiamen-Zhangzhou-Quanzhou urban agglomerations (XZQ), Fujian Province, in 2014 to delineate theoretical HCAs by applying the convex hull method, establish the actual HCAs according to the intra-city travel time, delineate the intra-city HCAs based on travel time satisfaction using Baidu map, and explore satisfaction to intercity travel time and intra-city travel time using questionnaire survey results. The analysis shows that: (1) The extent of theoretical HCAs of XZQ is beyond the borders of the cities, with areas of 15473.3 km2, 16356.7 km2, and 19276.9 km2, respectively. Furthermore, this article shows that the travel time to long-distance transport stations in XZQ ranges from 31 to 61 minutes, resulting in a reduction in the actual HCAs of 91.7%, 82.9%, and 83.9%, respectively, compared to the theoretical HCAs. There are only a few areas of intersection between neighboring cities. (2) The respondents in XZQ usually spend more than 60 minutes on the way to the coach stations and more than 90 minutes to the railway stations by bus, and the travel time falls in the Unsatisfactory, even Very unsatisfactory critical time category. The intra-city HCAs of Very satisfactory, Satisfactory, Medium, Unsatisfactory, and Very unsatisfactory categories are 17.91 km2 (0.39%), 45.58 km2 (1.00%), 112.76 km2 (2.47%), 212.20 km2 (4.65%), and 4179.46 km2 (91.50%), respectively, expand along the main roads in the city and are in quasi-concentric circles. (3) 67.71% of the respondents reported Very satisfactory and Satisfactory intercity travel time, whereas 69.1% of the respondents reported Very unsatisfactory and Unsatisfactory intra-city travel time, which shows that the intra-city transportation of XZQ has not met the demand of the majority of the respondents, and the intra-city urban transportation systems should be improved. We recommend that the government should improve the HCA especially the intra-city HCA in XZQ. Policies should not only focus on the intra-city public transit systems but also build adequate public transit terminals to facilitate passenger transfer, such as new metro or light rail systems.

Key words: hourly communication area, intra-city travel time, satisfaction, Xiamen-Zhangzhou-Quanzhou urban agglomerations