PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (12): 1433-1446.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.12.001

• Orginal Article •     Next Articles

Progress in urban and regional quantitative research

Chaolin GU1,*(), Yue ZHANG1, Wei ZHAI1, Weihua GUAN2, Qiang LI3, Na ZHAO4, Chen LIU5   

  1. 1. School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
    2. School of Geography, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
    3. The Chinese People's Liberation Army 95806 Troops, Beijing 100076, China
    4. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    5. School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Online:2016-12-20 Published:2016-12-20
  • Contact: Chaolin GU
  • Supported by:
    Major Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41590844;Tsinghua University Initiative Scientific Research Program, No.2015THZ01


This article systematically reviews some quantitative research methods about urbanization, including mathematical and simulation models of the process of urbanization, single urban growth models (cellular automata, agent and multi-agent), system dynamics model and simulation of urbanization, spatial computable general equilibrium model of urbanization, and integrated multi-model system of urbanization. The article concludes that before 1950, the main method of urbanization forecast was time series model that predicts urbanization trend based on historical data. During the 1960s, the main method was mathematical statistics model and population statistics model; regression model was also applied in urbanization research. During the 1970s, with the development of system science, system analysis method contributed to the creation of transportation, population, and land use models, which all facilitated in-depth analysis of urbanization. Since 1990, access to urbanization data has been greatly improved and data-intensive simulation models expanded the scope and depth of urbanization research. In recent years, integrated multi-model system becomes a popular research area because of the breakthrough in spatial data mining, big data, cloud computing, and large-scale model system.

Key words: urban, region, quantitative research, mathematical model, cellular automata, multi-agent system, numerical economic model, system dynamics model