PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (7): 1154-1166.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2021.07.007

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Changes of employment spatial structure and location pattern of Nanjing metropolitan area

WANG Hui1,2(), YUAN Feng1,*(), ZHAO Yan3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Key Research Institute of Yellow River Civilization and Sustainable Development, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, Henan, China
  • Received:2020-09-22 Revised:2021-03-07 Online:2021-07-28 Published:2021-09-28
  • Contact: YUAN Feng;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41671133)


Employment space reflects the diversity of urban economic and social phenomena, also provides fundamental basis for urban policy making and planning practice. Based on the longitudinal economic census database (2001-2013), this study employed empirical Bayesian Kriging, non-parametric locally weighted regression, multi-center density function, and other methods to examine the general spatial structure of employment in the Nanjing metropolitan area, as well as its changing locational patterns from structural employment dispersion, growth transformation of employment centers, and heterogeneous employment agglomeration with mixed land use. The results show that: 1) Employment suburbanization and polycentric development were remarkable in the Nanjing metropolitan area. 2) Employment density showed a trend of non-randomly structural dispersion. During the study period, the influence of the main urban center on the overall employment distribution weakened, while that of the sub-centers strengthened, but the former was consistently greater than the latter. 3) Employment centers underwent a growth transformation towards service and high-skill oriented. 4) There was a heterogeneous agglomeration pattern of employment and a positive correlation between mixed land use and employment density distribution. 5) The change of employment patterns was an outcome of the interaction between self-organization and outside influences, as well as between market mechanism and governmental behavior. Agglomeration economies, urban planning, and land market development were among the important influencing factors. The conclusion of this study has certain implications for the scientific planning of employment space of both the Nanjing metropolitan area and other cities.

Key words: employment spatial structure, identification of employment centers, locational patterns, mechanism analysis, Nanjing metropolitan area