PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2013, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (7): 1030-1038.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.07.006

• Urban Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Progress on studies of urban spatial structure in China

ZHOU Chunshan1, YE Changdong2   

  1. 1. Guangdong Key Laboratory for Urbanization and Geo-simulation, Geography and Planning School, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
    2. Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
  • Received:2013-04-01 Revised:2013-05-01 Online:2013-07-25 Published:2013-07-25

Abstract: Cities in China have undergone unprecedented growth and transformation in the recent years. The research field on urban spatial structure in China expanded rapidly at the same time. To move the research forward during this period of exceptional growth, one of the important tasks is to provide a review or retrospect of the research progress in the past. A statistical analysis of the relevant studies since 1980s indicates the research progress has gone through three time periods: In the first period, from the 1980s to the mid-1990s, the research focused on the introduction of western theories and initial case studies of the cities in China; the second period is from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, in which the research emphasized empirical studies of the cities; in the third period, since the early 2000s, studies have been focusing on general urban spatial structure pattern and new urban spatial phenomena. Compared to the relevant research elsewhere in the world, six fields need to be highlighted in the future research: general urban spatial structure pattern of the cities in China, new urban spatial phenomena, resource efficient urban spatial expansion, thorough studies on urban spatial structure mechanism, micro scale space, and applications of new research methods.

Key words: research progress, spatial pattern, urban morphology, urban spatial structure