PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (10): 1177-1185.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.10.001

• Articles •     Next Articles

Spatial linkage and urban expansion:An urban agglomeration perspective

Limin JIAO1,2(), Xin TANG1, Xiaoping LIU3   

  1. 1. School of Resource and Environmental Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Systems, Ministry of Education, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
    3. School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Online:2016-10-28 Published:2016-10-26
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41571385


Urban expansion displays varied spatial characteristics in different periods of urban agglomeration development. Studying the spatial and temporal patterns of urban expansion from the perspective of urban agglomeration is important for understanding the complex relationship between urban expansion and network structure of urban agglomerations. In this study we analyzed urban expansion in the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration based on road network, a gravity model, and a space syntax model. Construction land expansion was obtained from Landsat remote sensing data in 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010 and then was used to calculate intensity and speed of urban expansion. Position of cities in the traffic network of the urban agglomeration was analyzed by accessibility to and spatial interaction intensity of core cities. The space syntax model was used to compute accessibility of the road network and the status of a city in the network of the urban agglomeration. The results show that, first, urban expansion intensity displayed a positive correlation with accessibility to core cities, spatial interaction intensity of core cities, and space syntax indicators. Second, there was a positive correlation between urban expansion velocity and indicators identified above in the first (1980-1990) and second (1990-2000) periods. However, it exhibited a negative correlation in the third period (2000-2010). Cities with a relatively poor interconnectivity of traffic network and located in the periphery of the urban agglomeration developed more quickly in the last time period, displaying a trend of spatial convergence. This study shows that spatial linkage played an important but evolving role in urban expansion within the urban agglomeration of the Yangtze River Delta. In addition, it serves as a reference for the planning of the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration and the regulation of urban expansion of other urban agglomerations.

Key words: urban expansion, road network, space syntax, spatial interaction, Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration