PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (1): 102-108.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.01.011

• Subdisciplines • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Theory, practice and development of urban physical geography

Min LIU1(), Shiyuan XU1, Lijun HOU2, Yi YANG1, Limin ZHOU1, Ruishan CHEN1, Yanping HUANG1, Shixue WU1   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science, Ministry of Education, School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
  • Received:2017-12-26 Revised:2018-01-19 Online:2018-01-28 Published:2018-01-28
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.L1624026, No.41730646;Research Project on the Development Strategy of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.2016-DX-C-02


Due to the rapid urbanization in recent decades, globally cities have become the regions loaded with highly developed economy, dense population, and intensive human-environment interactions. Because of the formation of “the second pattern” in artificial environment and effects of intensive urban land use and land cover change, the discipline of urban physical geography has significant theoretical and practical values in the research of intricate urban systems. In this article, we reviewed the origin and disciplinary development of urban physical geography, and the theoretical framework, research contents, and outlooks for frontier research areas are clarified. We aimed to extend and enrich the research contents of urban physical geography, and promote its further development. In the future, prospective studies on urban physical geography should focus on the following areas: (1) theoretical studies for facilitating disciplinary development; (2) inter-disciplinary research for extending the knowledge base of urban surface system changes; (3) the giant urban physical-human system for revealing the coupling relationships and driving mechanisms of multiple urban elements; (4) applications in urban service research for supporting decisions of sustainable urban development.

Key words: urban physical geography, theoretical framework, empirical studies, research prospect