PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2023, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (4): 629-643.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2023.04.002

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Spatiotemporal evolution and driving factors of urban-rural integration in China

LUO Wanlu1(), WANG Wulin2,1,*(), LIN Zhen1, ZHOU Weijian1   

  1. 1. College of Environment and Safety Engineering, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350116, China
    2. College of Tourism, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China
  • Received:2022-09-14 Revised:2022-12-16 Online:2023-04-28 Published:2023-04-27
  • Contact: WANG Wulin;
  • Supported by:
    Key Program of Social Science Foundation of Fujian Province(FJ2021A003);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41701118)


Urban-rural integration (URI) is a new idea to guide the urban-rural transformation in China, and exploring the spatio-temporal characteristics and driving mechanism of URI in China is an urgent need to overcome the dilemmas of insufficient rural development and unbalanced urban and rural development. Based on the process framework of "foundation-motivation-result" of URI, an evaluation indicator system was constructed. The improved entropy evaluation model and the kernel density estimation method were used to quantitatively measure the spatiotemporal evolution characteristics of URI level of 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities in China's mainland from 2000 to 2020. This study further used the Geodetector to explore the heterogeneous evolution of driving factors for URI level in different regions of China. The main conclusions are as follows: 1) From 2000 to 2020, the URI level in China decreased first and then increased, showing a √-shaped trend, and its spatial differences narrowed. 2) The URI level in China presented a spatial pattern of high in the east and low in the west, divided by the Hu Huanyong Line. The high-value centers showed prominent polarization characteristics and presented a zonal aggregation trend. The medium-value areas were clustered but weakened,and showed a spreading trend from the eastern to the central and western parts. 3) At the national scale, the core influencing factors of URI level were population mobility, economic development level, urban-rural income gap, and educational supports, potential factors were the optimization of industrial structure and the opening-up level, and threshold effect existed in investment benefit and government intervention. At the regional scale, the core driving forces of URI level in China showed obvious spatial heterogeneity, and in 2020 they were economic development level, investment benefit, and government intervention in the eastern region, investment benefit, opening-up level, and urban-rural income gap in the central region, are educational supports, government intervention, and the optimization of industrial structure in the western region. The interaction of driving factors had far more influence on URI level in China than individual factors, and the interaction between traffic accessibility and other socioeconomic factors had been significantly enhanced. Research on the spatio-temporal evolution and mechanism of URI in China can provide theoretical basis for rural revitalization and high-quality urban and rural development.

Key words: urban-rural integration, urban-rural relationship, rural revitalization, Geodetector, China