PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2010, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (12): 1548-1554.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2010.12.011

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A Study of Residential Location and Residential Space Differentiation Based on the Niche Theory

ZHANG Li, LI Xueming, ZHANG Jianli   

  1. Department of Urban and Resource, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, Liaoning, China
  • Received:2010-04-01 Revised:2010-07-01 Online:2010-12-25 Published:2010-12-25


The requirements of the resident living environment, with China's urban construction and real estate development, emphasizes the overall assessment of the location. Foreign scholars study living conditions mainly from the aspects of safety, health, convenience and comfort. They focus on the assessment and determine the economic effects. Chinese scholars study the living conditions based on the evaluation and analysis of living conditions of human settlements. Niche is an important concept in biology. With the continuous development of the niche concept, its application is expanding. Geologists apply niche theory mainly in urban niche. Some scholars also apply the theory of niche in research on living conditions.
Niche theory is applied in the study of residential zone. The community property data of the residents including residential state, nature, transport, service facilities and other objective factors are regarded as the basis for residential potential. The theory makes up the shortcomings in the previous studies of residential location. The theory combines the resident factors and objectively environmental factors and can better explain the factors that change as a result of the residents living district change. Family income and education level are the evaluation factors of residential state, and traffic conditions, location, living conditions and natural environment are the evaluation factors of residential potential. The paper builds a location evaluation model that evaluates the residential niches of 37 zones located at the built-up area in Dalian and analyzes the spatial characteristics of the locations on the basis of residential state and residential potential. We also study the residential state and analyze residential space differentiation of Dalian.
It is concluded that the residential niche spatial differentiation of Dalian presents a distribution of the downtown area and other zones from the center to the periphery, and a residential state decreasing from southeast to northwest with high and low values staggered, which is not completely consistent with residential niche.

Key words: Dalian, niche, residential location, residential potential, residential space differentiation, residential state