PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (1): 77-87.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2019.01.007

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

Bi-fractal structure and evolution of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region urban land-use patterns

Jingtian ZHAO(), Yanguang CHEN*(), Shuangcheng LI   

  1. Department of Urban and Economic Geography, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2018-06-08 Revised:2018-11-20 Online:2019-01-28 Published:2019-01-22
  • Contact: Yanguang CHEN;
  • Supported by:
    Major Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 41590843.


One of the indicators of regional integration of urban and rural areas is the integration of the structure of systems of cities and towns. This process can be described and evaluated using the concept of scaling. Fractal geometry is one of the powerful tools for scaling analysis. An important parameter of geographic spatial distribution characteristics is fractal dimension. Based on data derived from remote sensing images and census data, this study carried out fractal analysis, rank-size distribution analysis, and allometric scaling analysis of cities and urban system in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The aim was to explain the process of urban growth in the region from 1995 to 2013. The results show three characteristics of urban form and growth: 1) Both the spatial structure and the rank-size distribution of the cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region are of self-affine pattern, indicating bi-fractal property. 2) The relationship between urban population and urban area of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region indicates a false linear correlation. 3) With the change of the urban system, the self-affine bi-fractal structure evolved gradually into a self-similar fractal structure. The main conclusions are as follows: 1) There is a structural incongruity in the system of cities and towns in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The urban hierarchy takes on a dual structure, but the direction of urban change shows a significant trend of internal structure integration. 2) Land use in large cities is not intensive enough. The unordered expansion of urban fringe led to the waste of land resources. Planners and local governments should make use of the characteristics and trends of change of the urban system to formulate planning schemes and management measures.

Key words: urban land use, fractals, self-affinity, rank-size distribution, allometric scaling law, urban system of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region