PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (6): 956-971.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2022.06.002

• Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Multidimensional measurements and analysis of urban economic resilience under the disturbance of economic risks: A case study of the Yangtze River Delta, China

DU Wenxuan1(), SHI Yijun1,*(), XU Lihua1, ZHAI Guofang2, CHEN Wei3, LU Zhangwei1   

  1. 1. School of Landscape Architecture, Zhejiang A & F University, Hangzhou 311300, China
    2. School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
    3. School of Geographic and Biologic Information, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2021-10-08 Revised:2021-12-29 Online:2022-06-28 Published:2022-08-28
  • Contact: SHI Yijun;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(52108053);Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China(LQ20D010002);Jiangsu Provincial Social Science Foundation of China(20ZZC001)


With the increasing economic interaction between cities, disturbance of economic risks has a great impact on their economic resilience. Examining urban economic resilience is crucial for the economic development of cities. Using economic risk disturbances of the Asian financial crisis and the global financial crisis as examples, this study measured economic resilience from four dimensions, including relative-diversity index, relative-specialization index, regional economic connection intensity, and regional economic sensitivity, and analyzed the characteristics and change of the spatial and temporal patterns for cities in the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration and their causes. The results show that: 1) The relative-diversity index of most cities declined from 1997 to 2016. The relative specialization developed stably, which promoted the regional industrial division and the improvement of economic resilience. Some of the cities in Anhui Province exhibited structural homogeneity in manufacturing industries. 2) The relative-specialization index showed significant regional differences, which was correlated with dominant industrial structure. The relative-specialization index of the eastern cities was medium, while the western cities mainly developed resource-based economy with high specialization. In the face of economic risk disturbances, some cities in the region tended to strengthen the traditional low-efficiency industry model. These cities had low regional coordination ability, which negatively affected economic resilience and high-quality development. 3) The proportion of total connection between a core city and other cities in the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration decreased year by year, and the agglomeration ability of core cities is still strong, hindering the systematic development of economic resilience. Shanghai was one of the highest regional economic connection intensity cities with its large economic volume, multiple industrial types, and large population, leading to the increasing regional economic gap in the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration. Spatially, the regional economic connection intensity between eastern cities was higher than that of western cities. 4) The resistance and recoverability of cities in the urban agglomeration were closely related to their economic development models. Export-oriented cities were the first to be seriously affected by economic risk disturbances and had low resistance in the period of urban economic contraction. However, the cities with high-tech industries and domestic demand industries developed rapidly in the period of urban economic expansion. Economic risk disturbances had regional sequential influence on the economic growth of different cities. This paper is helpful to remedy the deficiency of the existing literature on urban economic resilience from the perspective of urban agglomeration, and provides methodological guidance for the high-quality and sustainable development of urban and regional economies in China.

Key words: urban economic resilience, economic risk disturbances, multi-dimensional synthetical evaluation method, Yangtze River Delta