PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (1): 65-76.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2019.01.006

• Specical Column: Coordinated Development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Radial dimension analysis of growth and form of cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region

Feng ZHANG1(), Yanguang CHEN1,*(), Xiaosong LI2   

  1. 1. Department of Urban and Economic Geography, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2018-03-07 Revised:2018-07-20 Online:2019-01-28 Published:2019-01-22
  • Contact: Yanguang CHEN;
  • Supported by:
    Major Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 41590843.


Urban growth and form are important contents of geographic research on sizes and shapes. Fractal dimension is an effective scaling parameter to describe urban form and reflect urban growth. Based on remote sensing data of construction land in 2000, 2005 and 2010, this study analyzed the spatial pattern and change of cities and towns in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. Fractal measures, including radial dimension and the corresponding concept of scaling range, were applied. The main results are as follows: 1) The first scaling area and its growth rate of Beijing are the largest in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban system, producing a shadow effect on the surrounding cities. 2) On the whole, the farther from Beijing, the smaller the scope of the first scaling range of other cities. 3) For almost all the cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the first scaling areas are overfilled by construction land. 4) Economic development level has the greatest impact on the overall urban construction land expansion in the region, but the driver of urban construction land expansion in Beijing has changed from economic factors to population factors. Based on these findings, several conclusions can be drawn: 1) Beijing has dual effects in the process of urban development in the region, including the primary city effect, and the shadow effect. While Beijing drives the development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, it also inhibits the growth of some other cities. 2) The central part of each city in the study region is too compact, but the development of the peripheries is relatively disorderly, and the main city areas and outskirts lack integration. 3) Population may become the key dynamics of the urban change in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The principal role of economic return growth may be replaced by the economies of scale based on urban population agglomeration in the future. These results and conclusions may help the research community and government authorities understand the status quo and future development trend of urbanization in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region from a new perspective.

Key words: Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, urban system, urban land use, fractal, radial dimension, scaling range