PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (8): 1217-1226.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2019.08.010

• Special Column: Watershed Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Formation and change of the Yangtze River Economic Belt from a geographical perspective

DUAN Xuejun1,2,ZOU Hui1,2,CHEN Weixiao1,3,WANG Yazhu1,3,YE Lei4   

  1. 1. Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    4. School of Geographic Science, Nantong University, Nantong 226007, Jiangsu, China
  • Received:2018-07-02 Revised:2019-06-04 Online:2019-08-25 Published:2019-08-25
  • Supported by:
    STS Project of Chinese Academy of Sciences(KFJ-STS-ZDTP-011)


The Yangtze River Economic Belt has been promoted to Chinese national major regional development strategy largely as a natural result of the formation of large river basin economic belt. Large river basin economic belts tend to experience the development process of localized settlements-resources belt (farming and animal husbandry, mining, hydro energy)-traffic belt-industrial belt-dense urban belt, whose spatial development is characterized by growth poles, growth axis, and then economic belt. This change in spatial pattern of large river economic belt reflects the regional development and spatial change of river basin as a basic and unique geographic unit. The spatial change of development from point, axis, to belt also results in a change of scale from small to large, development level from low to high, and spatial spread from point to region of the large river economic belt. The change is not only driven by the advantages of resources and location, but also restrained by the carrying capacity of the ecological environment. It profoundly reflects the importance of geographical environment in the development of economic belts. Taking the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt as a case, this article discusses the scientific connotation and geographical basis of its formation and change, in order to provide a reference for the development and construction of large river basin economic belts in the new era.

Key words: large river basins, spatial structure, pattern change, geographical basis, Yangtze River Economic Belt