As China's urbanization development enters the middle and late stages, the suburbs have become one of the essential residential places. Therefore, it is necessary to systematically examine the context and research prospect of suburbanization in China under the new-type urbanization. In this study, the CiteSpace 5.8 software was used to analyze the co-occurrence network of keywords and detect emergent words in the core journals and CSSCI and the literature on suburbanization in master's theses and doctoral dissertations of CNKI, and to explore the overall characteristics of suburbanization research. This article systematically reviewed the hotspots and frontiers of suburbanization research and its evolution from 1983 to the present. The results show that the study of suburbanization in China was in the initial stage before 1996. With the rapid development of urbanization, the suburbanization studies in China entered the active stage from 1996 to 2015. However, the related studies have been gradually weakened since 2015. The research hotspots of suburbanization in China mainly include suburbanization and urbanization, population distribution and mobility of suburbanization, dynamic mechanism of suburbanization, and the specific study of case areas. It conforms to the process of "learning from others - understanding the phenomenon - exploring the essence - practical application". In the future, it is necessary to re-examine the connotation of suburbanization and the relationship between suburbanization and urban space reconstruction. More attention should be paid to the suburbanization of different demographic groups. Research on the suburbanization processes in the inland areas, including the central, western, and northeastern areas, are also essential. In addition, the analysis of the sustainable development of suburbanization and soft safeguarding measures needs to be highlighted.
Conservation tillage plays an important role in preventing soil erosion, improving soil quality, and ensuring food security. As farmers are the direct decision makers of conservation tillage technology adoption, studying their adoption behavior and influencing factors can help promote the application of conservation tillage technology. In order to provide a reference for a more effective promotion of conservation tillage technology, this article summarized the research on farmers' conservation tillage technology adoption behavior and influencing factors in China and internationally through a systematic analysis. The results show that different types of farmers have great differences in their adoption behavior of conservation tillage technology. The research area of farmers' adoption of conservation tillage technology is relatively concentrated. The factors that influence farmers' technology adoption behavior mainly include basic factors and differential factors. Based on these analyses, further research directions and outlooks are proposed. They include taking into account the heterogeneity within the farmer group, focusing on the integration of research theories, and strengthening interdisciplinary comprehensive and systematic research.
Effectiveness assessment of protected areas is an important means to measure management and protection effects and put forward suggestions for improvement. From the perspective of coupled human-environment system, this study divided the effectiveness assessment of protected areas into four stages: infrastructure construction, primary protection, ecological function enhancement, and human-environment harmony, corresponding to the four targets of a well-established protection system, the safety of protected objects, ecosystem health, and human well-being, respectively. On this basis, we analyzed the role of effective management theory, landscape sustainability theory, and social-ecological network theory in guiding the assessment of the effectiveness of protected areas. By examining the progress of the effectiveness assessment of protected areas in China, this article proposed four future research directions, including increasing the importance of community governance in the assessment system, shifting from focusing on biodiversity conservation to considering the improvement of human well-being, exploring the mechanism of management work on the effectiveness of protected areas, and promoting the construction of monitoring networks and data platforms for protected areas, in order to improve the timeliness, comprehensiveness, and soundness of the effectiveness assessment of protected areas, and to promote the harmonious coexistence of humans and nature.
As one of the key research aspects of rural transformation and development in China, human settlement in traditional villages comprehensively demonstrates the choice of settlement locations, spatial functionalities, and reconstruction of social-cultural connections. It also actively demonstrates the innovation of traditional agricultural societies. This study defined the concept of traditional villages, explored the conceptual definition of human settlements in traditional villages, analyzed their connotation and system composition, clarified their characteristics and manifestations, and offered an example of the systematic approach to the traditional village human settlement transformation and development. The results show that: 1) The research on the transformation and development of traditional village human settlements can be approached from the following aspects: connotative of the transformation, system composition and performance of the transformation, division and spatial differentiation of the transformation stages, and path and mode of the transformation and development. 2) Human settlements of traditional villages include three dimensions (subject, space, and function dimensions) and five subsystems (natural ecological, social-cultural, industrial economic, regional spatial, and multiple subject subsystems). The transformations of the subsystems are interdependent and have their own focus, and need to be categorized and implemented differently. 3) Natural ecological and regional spatial subsystems are the conventional focus of research on human settlement transformation in traditional villages, which belongs to the research of original material space. The study of social cultural, multiple subject, and industrial economic subsystems is the innovative research focus and belongs to the constructive material space. Based on the problems, goals, and demand orientation, comprehensive study of transformation development from the system perspective is the new trend of future human settlement research.
Border areas are important national security buffer zones and vulnerable areas under the influence of multiple power spaces. Scientifically summarizing the development process of border research will help clarify the context of border research and provide scientific support for realizing a stable border with security and sustainable development. This study was based on data of academic publications on border research in the fields of human geography in China from the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) and Web of Science (WoS). With the help of the scientific knowledge map method, the basic characteristics of China's border research process, trends, and hotspots since 1990 were analyzed. The study found that China's border research has experienced an "open exploration-social construction-strategic guidance" development process. The research hotspots have gradually shifted from the northeast to the southwest, and "border trade", "border tourism", "border port", and "Belt and Road" are the four main keyword clusters. The main contents of border research include border trade and development and opening-up, border tourism resource development, social construction and harmonious development, border ports and urban functions, as well as geographical environment and border security. At present, China's border research is still insufficient in terms of exploring the patterns and quantitative analysis. On the basis of constructing a framework of border geographic research integrating multi-subjects, multi-elements, and multi-scales, we propose to strengthen the research on border risk and security, cross-border cooperation mechanism, "border effect" theory, and sustainable border development, which may provide a support for China's border security and modern governance.
With the rapid development of motor traffic, urban traffic safety problems are becoming increasingly serious. As a key factor influencing the characteristics of regional traffic flow and travel behavior, the characteristics of urban road network have an important impact on the frequency, type, and spatial distribution of regional traffic accidents. Based on the theoretical analysis of the relationship between urban built environment and traffic accidents, this article summarized the mechanism of impact of urban road network characteristics on traffic accidents from two aspects: road network patterns and geometric-topological characteristics. The potential mechanism of impact of urban road network characteristics on traffic accidents was analyzed by exploring the relationship between urban road network and travel behavior. Existing studies indicate that there are differences in spatial scale effects on the type, frequency, and severity of traffic accidents caused by road network patterns such as grid-iron, warped parallel, and loops-lollipops, as well as road network topology indicators such as centrality and connectivity. Furthermore, reasonable geometric characteristics of road network such as intersection density, road network density, and block density play an important role in improving traffic safety. Future research needs to further characterize the structure, function, and other characteristics of road network using complex network theory, and to provide in-depth analyses on the driving mechanism and non-linear effects of complex road network characteristics on traffic accidents from the perspective of travel behavior by controlling the effect of residential self-selection. Future research also needs to consider the potential interaction between road network characteristics and the built environment on traffic accidents.
At present, the academic community has not yet to reach a consensus on the definition of the ecological shelters (ES) concept. Due to the lack of theoretical guidance, the scientific application and mechanisms of ES construction is lacking. Therefore, this study systematically clarified the meaning, identification system, and construction practice of ES, summarized the history and challenges of ES construction, and postulated countermeasures and suggestions for improvement. We demonstrated that ES has the dual connotation of region and function, which is manifested as specific spatial location, ecosystem structure, ecological process, and protection object. It is a compound system of ecology, economy, and society and possesses the basic characteristics of attributes related to public goods. In the construction of ES, it is necessary to scientifically identify the ES and its scope according to its geographical location, dominant function, ecological stress, and varying scales. Moreover, the natural attributes and ecosystem function should be respected and cross-regional cooperation should be encouraged. Finally, a systematic management system for ES construction should be established to coordinate its construction with economic and social development.
Urban shrinkage is a new phenomenon in the process of China's rapid urbanization, which brings great impact and challenge to the traditional regional-urban planning cognitive theory and planning paradigm based on "growth scenario simulation". How to construct the theoretical and analytical framework of urban shrinkage research in China has become the focus of academia and planning management departments. The following issues were analyzed in the study: 1) Systematically reviewed the origin of the concept of urban shrinkage, the relationship between urban shrinkage and urban growth, urbanization, and its relationship with localization and internationalization. It pointed out that urban shrinkage and urban growth are the products of different process in two directions in the development of regional urbanization, also a product embedded in globalization and rooted in localization. It is necessary to avoid "discussing urban shrinkage based only on shrinking cities" in the study. 2) Distinguished and defined the concept and connotation of urban shrinkage and shrinking city. It pointed out that the inconsistency of current identification standards for shrinking cities stems from the confusion between the concept of shrinking city and urban shrinkage, the emphasis on the description of shrinkage concepts, and the negligence of the development correlation between factors and functions. 3) Conducted a preliminary study on the connotation of urban shrinkage research "sinicization" from the aspects of research scope, research period, definition standard, research background, and regional differences. It proposed to take the urban built-up area as the research scope and 10 years as the investigation period, use comprehensive indicators to replace single population indicator to construct the identification standard and method system of shrinking city, and use the analysis of the overall development environment of the city and its related areas and prediction of and response to the formation and development of shrinking city as the bases, to realize "sinicization". 4) Constructed a framework and path of shrinking city research in the Chinese context based on property right region, field theory, regional association, and regional difference. This study aimed to engage geographers in China for an in-depth discussion of the "sinicization" of urban shrinkage research, so as to provide Chinese experience for the study of urban shrinkage globally.
Territory is the key concept in political geography, and territorial trap is one of the most classical theories in political geography. This article systematically reviewed the literature on territorial traps, summarized the origin, development, and research progress of the territorial trap theory, and discussed its significance in Chinese political geographical studies. The theory of territorial trap proposed by Agnew is based on three geographical assumptions: the "trinity" of territory-state-sovereignty, the "dichotomy" of domestic-foreign, and the state as a social container. The territorial trap theory refutes the existing state-centric view of territory and emphasizes various effective forms of sovereignty besides the state's territory, such as extraterritorial sovereignty, graduated sovereignty, and social sovereignty. The extensive application of the territorial trap theory reflects its strong explanatory power in global governance, non-traditional security, cross-border migration control, cross-border resource protection, cross-border water politics, and so forth. This article argued that territorial issues should be understood from the complex interaction between territorial control and effective sovereignty and the perspectives from the center and periphery, and be examined by combining rationality and historical emotion. It has important implications for China to effectively resolve territorial issues, promote the realization of the Belt and Road Initiative, and establish the "community with a shared future for mankind".
This article critically reviewed the development of research perspectives in the studies of regional spatial structure, with an analytical shift from the focus of behavioral aggregation to behavioral interaction, as well as from place-based attributes to network-based interrelationships. Traditional spatial structure research mainly highlights social or spatial correlations among the attributes of intra-regional spatial units (for example, cities), based on the aggregated statistics of social and economic behaviors. Corresponding approach includes social-area analysis and homogenous-area detection. Recent studies have encountered a "relational turn” and "network turn", which aim to frame regional spatial structure into a combination of network structures and spatial patterns from the perspective of behavioral interaction and spatial network. Such network-based analyses include traditional functional-area analysis, community detection algorithms, and core-periphery analysis from the field of network science and social network analysis. By comparing these perspectives, this article finally suggested that future studies should further explore the rationale of behavioral interaction and intra-regional network in understanding regional spatial structure, avoid the trap of "methodological determination" by developing mesoscale analysis, and investigate multiple spatial structures across scales and mobility factors under the perspective of multilayer networks.
Mobility is ubiquitous and flourishing, and its impact on society, space, and individuals is becoming increasingly complex in the continuously changing sociotechnical environment of the contemporary world. Since the start of the "mobility turn", Western mobility studies and transport geography have experienced a fierce collision and gradually developed an extensive and in-depth dialogue, which have jointly promoted the inclusive development of mobility study in geography. However, the existing study on mobilities in geography in China has lagged behind, the research is mostly confined to the internal discourse system of sub-disciplines, and the mutually beneficial dialogue between disciplines has not been carried out effectively, which has not fully stimulated the research innovation in this interdisciplinary field. Therefore, in this article, we focused on the dialogue between Western new mobility study and transport geography and reviewed the key literature on mobility studies in the Western geographic research since 2006, which connects mobility study and transport geography in three common topics—mobility practice and meaning, mobility inequality, and information and communication technology and mobility. This article proposed a rethinking of mobility theory and its fruitful connotation, characteristics, and value, as well as outlining some avenues for future research where further conversation would continue in the area of daily mobility study, taking into account the current local context. We argued that the complementary and progressive nature of mobility research and transport geography constitute the premise of their dialogue, which also suggests that deepening the understanding of the multiplicity, relationality, and contextuality of the connotation of mobility, as well as integrating more dialectical thinking, will drive more innovation in mobility research. In the future, mobility research in China should further expand the multiple connotations of mobility, enrich the subjects and scales of research, think dialectically about the value of mobility, associate with sociotechnical contexts, and explore methodology innovations. Mobility study in the context of China could make great contributions to global research and promote the decentralization and further diversification of the international context.
Under the background of global climate change and complex international geopolitics, the spatial perspective of geography provides a new entry point for studying the nexus between energy, economy, and the environment. By summarizing the literature on energy-economy nexus, energy-environment nexus, and energy-economy-environment nexus, we found that: 1) There is a "spatial turn" in the research of energy-economy nexus, and location characteristics are used to explain spatial heterogeneity. 2) The literature on the energy-environment nexus focuses on the spatial effects of energy-related pollution and policies, and new research topics such as energy landscape research have emerged recently. 3) The study on the energy-economy-environment nexus has just appeared, with three general research frameworks: empirical research on causality, coupling and coordination degree evaluation, and multi-objective planning prediction. 4) The current research has shortcomings such as high homogeneity of empirical analysis, insufficient explanation of spatial disparity mechanism, and less research related to renewable energy. Accordingly, this article attempted to construct a research framework for the energy-economy-environment (3E) nexus from the spatial perspective. We also proposed further research topics based on the existing studies in China—improving the construction of the theoretical framework, strengthening renewable energy research, and carrying out simulation and prediction of energy-economy-environment systems under carbon reduction targets, so as to provide theoretical and empirical support for the realization of China's carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals.
Hydrological models are an important scientific tool for understanding the basic theory of hydrology disciplines, analyzing hydrological processes, and studying hydrological cycle mechanisms. The uncertainty analysis of simulation results is a prerequisite for improving the reliability of a model and for conducting an effective hydrological regime forecast. Parameter uncertainty is one of the important factors that affect the uncertainty of simulation results from hydrological models, and the analysis of model parameter uncertainty and its impact factors has important practical significance for hydrological forecasting. The current parameter uncertainty analysis methods can be roughly divided into three categories: parameter sensitivity analysis, parameter optimization, and parameter regionalization method that consider the parameter estimation in ungauged catchments. This?article reviewed the current development of technique and operation status of parameter sensitivity analysis for hydrological models, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of different analysis methods. We also identified the potential development direction of future research on the method of uncertainty analysis of hydrological models, that is, to strengthen the study of the systematic method of uncertainty analysis for hydrological models with the help of multidisciplinary theories and technical methods.
Agglomeration economy theory has been intrinsically linked to urban economic growth since its inception. This article systematically reviewed the origin and development of agglomeration economy theory, summarized the core ideas of agglomeration economy in explaining the formation and development of urban space, and suggested that agglomeration economy and urban economic growth are intrinsically related. In addition, this article reviewed the impact of agglomeration economy on urban economic growth, and found that the agglomeration economy represented by increasing population density can significantly promote urban economic growth, and the explanatory mechanism of urban agglomeration economy effect can be explored from two perspectives: macro-processes and micro-processes. This article is not only a review of the literature on agglomeration economy theory and urban economic growth, but also a reference for empirical analysis of the impact of agglomeration economy on urban economic growth in China.
Territorial space function is an important theoretical foundation for revealing the coupling relationship between human and the environment and for informing the practical framework of spatial planning. However, trapped in the parallel thinking of land use planning and urban planning for a long time, and the territorial space planning is still in the exploratory stage, the concept of territorial space function was rarely touched upon, let alone a systematic reporting of relevant studies. Based on a review of the literature, this research found that international studies on territorial space function tended to explain complex social problems by constructing theoretical models, while studies in China focused on innovating the existing knowledge framework to guide the phased planning practice. Moreover, a systematic review was conducted on the studies of territorial space function from the aspects of classification and evaluation, spatial-temporal evolution, dynamic trade-offs, and simulation optimization, and the results indicate that although attention has been paid to the topic, there is a general lack of exploration of localization under the current circumstances. It is urgent to carry out research on the theoretical breakthroughs and practical needs of optimizing territorial space development pattern and promoting the construction of ecological civilization. By summarizing the research results in China and abroad, we put forward the future direction of territorial space function research: 1) Theoretical research of territorial space function in the era of comprehensively advancing ecological civilization. 2) Trade-off mechanism of territorial space function research in the process of governance modernization. 3) Content expansion of territorial space function study under the new-type globalization perspective. 4) Technical revolution of territorial space function study supported by advanced artificial intelligence. 5) Transformation of thinking of territorial space function study under the orientation of humanization.
The impact of smart technology has penetrated into various aspects of city life. The flow of spatial elements is faster and more complex. Urban functions need to be adjusted to adapt to the changes of residents' activities. The smart operation and management of urban space has also become a new challenge. This article reviewed the impact of current smart technology on urban space from three aspects: urban spatial element organization, residents' activities, and spatial functions, and spatial operation and management. Looking forward, we believe that urban space would have the characteristics of instantaneous relocation, spatial intelligence, complex mobility, and stronger resilience in the next five to ten years. To provide guidance for urban space research and planning design under the influence of smart technology, this article further proposed four key directions of future urban space research: urban space organization, functional form, operation management, and planning methods.
Since the start of operation of the China-Europe Railway Express (CR Express) in 2011, with its increasing domestic and international influences, it has become one of the hotspots of academic research in China. Based on the data from the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) database, the number of publications related to the CR Express has increased by about 70% annually, but the proportion of those published in highly cited journals is still relatively low. From the geographical perspective, the research on the CR Express by Chinese scholars mainly focuses on four aspects: 1) estimation of its regional scope with competitive advantages; 2) analysis of competition among the operating regions; 3) optimization of the spatial layout of its transportation network; and 4) analysis of its regional impacts and differences. The shortcomings of the current research mainly include that theoretical research has not yet followed the practice; the research on the overall reform of the CR Express is still lacking; and the research is still limited to the national territory. Therefore, future research on the CR Express should accelerate the theoretical framework construction, produce more systematic and targeted countermeasure recommendations, and deepen the exploration at a larger spatial scale.
Maps are the basic language of geography and an indispensable tool for spatial analysis. But maps have long been seen as an objective, neutral scientific product. Inspired by critical geography, critical cartography/GIS emerged with the goal of elucidating the nature of discourse, power relations, and even the physical environment embedded in cartographic practice and challenging the untested but taken for granted assumptions in cartographic representation. After nearly 40 years of debates, this field of research has been gradually defined, and a blueprint of "hybrid geographies" has gradually emerged. Through the combination of various geographical methodologies, critical cartography/GIS has generally formed two research directions. The deconstruction approaches mainly start from the identity of cartographers and the production process of map knowledge, and analyze the inseparable relationship between "cartographicality" and national governance as well as the inherent mechanism of power. The construction approaches mainly explore the new production and representation of maps by means of collaborative mapping and counter-mapping. The research of critical cartography/GIS in China has just started, so it is necessary to continue to draw on the achievements of critical geography to carry out the deconstruction research of different types of maps in different historical periods, strengthen the convergence of construction path and deconstruction path, and actively participate in the social applications of research results.
Since the rise of geomedia in recent years, the previous boundaries between production and consumption, and between technical object and symbolic representation in urban public space and everyday life space are increasingly blurred, leading to the need for theoretical innovation in terms of the "virtual/physical" dualism in geography. The development of geographies of media and communication, which is the outcome of the "spatial turn" of media research and the "communication turn" of geography, contains the potential to break through the dualism. This article reviewed the core concepts, main issues, and research framework of geographies of media and communication in order to promote the academic dialogue between Chinese scholars in geography and media and communication studies, as well as to expand the research field of Chinese human geography. First, geographies of media and communication in Western geography was founded on the dynamic relational notions of media and space that were deeply influenced by postmodernism and posthumanism thoughts, including core concepts such as texture, mobility, materiality, and embodiment. Second, existing studies mainly focus on the spatiality of digital media and posthumanism media, the hybrid space politics dominated by digital media representation and algorithmic logic, as well as the hybrid space experience brought by mobile media. Finally, this article referred to the "thirdspace" as a potential direction for geographies of media and communication to surpass the previous dualism, and materiality and embodiment serve as the ontological bridge between media and space.
Employment distribution is one of the key components of urban structure. Employment polycentricity is currently becoming a global phenomenon, leading the paradigm change of urban structure research around the world. However, this topic is covered by relatively few studies in China. Therefore, by browsing a large number of relevant publications, this article presented its research progress in order to provide a reference for studies on employment polycentricity in China. First, this article briefly introduced the geographical patterns and process of urban employment concentration/decentralization and polycentricity, focusing on reviewing the current consensus and debates, as well as dynamics and growth trends of employment centers. Second, it traced the mechanism of urban employment decentralization and its evolving polycentric patterns from different theoretical perspectives, with particular attention to the predominant forces on the formation of polycentricity through the lens of spatial political economy, especially interactions between the institutional factors of urban planning and governance and the market. Finally, the article summarized the consequences of employment polycentricity from two aspects: the impact on urban spatial features and on urban commuting. The evolution of urban employment polycentricity provides a unique view for us to understand the growth logic of urban space, which is significant for the policy making of urban transformation and spatial reconstruction of Chinese cities.