PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (1): 40-52.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2022.01.004

• Special Column: Theories and Methods of Behavioral Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Interdisciplinary application of theories and methods of behavioral geography

SHEN Yue1,2,3(), WANG De4   

  1. 1. Research Center for China Administrative Division, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2. The Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    3. School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    4. Collage of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, Shanghai 200093, China
  • Received:2021-09-07 Revised:2021-12-01 Online:2022-01-28 Published:2022-03-28
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41871166);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971206);Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai(21ZR1420600)


Behavioral geography focuses on the relationships between space and behavior. After decades of development, as well as the constant improvement of theoretical basis, the deepening of research methods, and the extension of research topics, behavioral geography has gradually moved towards diversification and socialization, and consequently become an important subdiscipline of human geography. Its theories, methods, and empirical research results have also been widely used in research and practice in many disciplines. This research expounds the interdisciplinary basis of behavioral geography in terms of theory, method, and application. With respect to theoretical basis, behavioral geography originated from the disciplines of geography and psychology, and then absorbed the closely related theories and methodologies, especially time geography and activity-based approach, which constitute the core theoretical basis of behavioral geography. The research methods of behavioral geography have become diversified in the process of interdisciplinary integration. Methods from disciplines such as computer science, geographic information science, sociology, statistics, and biology have been draw into behavioral geography in terms of collection of behavioral data, mining and visualization of behavioral pattern, as well as analysis and simulation of mechanism of behaviors. In regard of application research, behavioral geography has been deepening the integration with different disciplines, and our study elaborated the application research combined with behavioral geography from three aspects: urban planning and design, mobility planning and management, and sustainable social development and governance. This research aimed to explore the influence of behaviorism on geography and adjacent disciplines, clarify the interdisciplinary context of applied research around behavioral geography, further promote the interdisciplinary development of behavioral geography, and explore future research and application directions. Looking forward to the future, there is still much room for the interdisciplinary integration and application of behavioral geography. In terms of theoretical construction, further research and discussion on the space-behavior interaction theory by different disciplines are needed. For practical application, behavioral geography guided by the improvement of quality of life and sustainable social development has good interdisciplinary application prospects, and is expected to play a greater role in smart city planning and management, living space planning, living time planning, as well as residents' behavior guidance and service. In particular, how to arrange the dynamic spatial allocation of cities from the three dimensions of space, time, and individual behavior is the key direction of exploration of combined behavioral geography and planning practice.

Key words: behaviorism, spatiotemporal behavior, interdisciplinary, people oriented, quality of life