PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (11): 1555-1566.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.11.011

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Spatial pattern evolution and location selection of foreign-affiliated research and development institutions in Shanghai

Shunhui HE1,2(), Debin DU1,2,*(), Junsong WANG1,2   

  1. 1. Institute for Global Innovation and Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2. School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2017-11-07 Revised:2018-09-17 Online:2018-11-28 Published:2018-11-28
  • Contact: Debin DU;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41471108


Using the location data of foreign-affiliated research and development (R&D) institutions in the metropolitan area of the city of shanghai, this study examined the spatial and temporal distribution and influencing factors of these institutions. Since the 1980s, foreign-affiliated R&D institutions in Shanghai have developed rapidly and three stages of development can be identified: the tentative period (1983-2000), the rapid expansion period (2001-2008), and the steady increasing period (2009-2016). Along with the increase in the number of institutions, the spatial layout showed the following characteristics: (1) A global decentralization trend was clear. The R&D institutions were concentrated in the near suburbs 10-20 km from the central city district. They eventually spread to outer suburban districts, which decreased the tendency toward the central city area. The statistical results show a gradually shrinking difference of the spatial heterogeneity between neighborhood-level units and county/district-level units. (2) Local area agglomeration characteristics were also clear. Several clusters of agglomeration are found in different districts in the suburb and outer suburb areas, namely the "Zhangjiang-Jinqiao-Waigaoqiao" eastern agglomeration area, the central agglomeration area dominated by Caohejing, the "Zizhu-Xinzhuang-Minhang Development Zone-Songjiang Industrial Zone" southwestern agglomeration area, and the "Anting-Jiading Industrial Zone" northwestern agglomeration area. During the study period, the multi-polar cluster distribution pattern was relatively stable, and the dominant positions of Zhangjiang, Caohejing, and the Zizhu Park have been further strengthened. The high concentration areas are connected by the main road and subway transportation network, which shows an obvious reliance on transportation. (3) The results of regression show that traditional location factors (rent costs, traffic accessibility, and resources), agglomeration factors, and institutional factors have strong impact on the location decision of foreign-affiliated R&D institutions, but the degree of influence also depends on their stage of development and size of the institutions. To sum up, the spatial evolution of foreign R & D institutions in Shanghai was resulted in market driving and administrative intervention mechanism.

Key words: foreign-affiliated R&D institution, agglomeration, suburbanization, location decision, Shanghai