PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2015, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (3): 271-279.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2015.03.002

• Urban Agglomeration • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The nature of urban agglomeration space and the construction of Zhongyuan Urban Agglomeration

Changhong MIAO1,2, Zhiqiang HU1,2   

  1. 1. Key Research Institute of Yellow River Civilization and Sustainable Development & Collaborative Innovation Center on Yellow River Civilization of Henan Province, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, Henan, China
    2. College of Environment and Planning, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, Henan, China
  • Received:2015-02-01 Revised:2015-03-01 Online:2015-03-25 Published:2015-03-25


Regional research is one of the core topics of Geography. In the development process of geography, the debate on region is broadly divided into two categories—territorial space and network space—and there has been a trend of change from one-dimensional space to multidimensional space. Regions were often considered as a space that has one or more common features among its components, and a region is bounded, closed. With the advancement of globalization and information society, regional relations continue to strengthen. Therefore some scholars put forward the concept of network space, which highlights the interactions and relationships between regions. A network space is open, dynamic, and with uncertain boundaries. Increasingly, the single dimension to regional definition was viewed as biased. The space of Chinese urban agglomerations is a new type of region. It has multiple properties, not only as a territorial space and network space, but also as the place where space is produced and created. There is a great difference in perspective between territorial space and network space. Attention of regional research is shifting from production in space to the production of space itself. The production of space cannot take place without the operation of power, and space is also the product of the discourse construction. Based on the debates of a region as a territorial space, or a network space, and the production of space, this article discusses the debates on the concepts and construction of Chinese urban agglomerations. Taking the Zhongyuan urban agglomeration as an example, this research examined some practical problems in its construction, and addressed the vital question: What is an urban agglomeration and its nature? In order to coordinate and combine the varied dimensions on Chinese urban agglomeration, we put forward a TPSNF framework to integrate the five dimensions for defining urban agglomeration: territory, place, scale, network, and function and proposed some key research focus in the future.

Key words: territorial space, network space, TPSNF framework, Zhongyuan Urban Agglomeration