PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2007, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (6): 68-76.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2007.06.007

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial Restructur ing and Urban System of Extended Metropolitan Regions in Central China

ZHANG Xiaoping   

  1. College of Resources and Environment, Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2007-09-01 Revised:2007-11-01 Online:2007-11-25 Published:2007-11-25


In 2002, the Chinese Central Government put forward the “Rising Strategy of Central China”. The main aim of this strategy is to accelerate economic development in the six provinces located in the Central China, including Shanxi, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Anhui, and Jiangxi Provinces. With regional economic growth, it is necessary to reconstruct spatial organization of production factors in order to maintain efficient operation of economic activities and long- term competitiveness of the Central China in both domestic and international markets. During the past twenty years, worldwide experiences of industrialization and urbanization indicated that “Extended Metropolitan Regions”or so- called “City- regions”composed of core city and its hinterland are becoming the most important units of regional competition. Through intense and frequent linkages and flows between the center regions and the peripheries, a spatial organism with activeness and high strength gains much concern within academic and administrative fields. The Greater London Metropolitan Region and the Tokyo Metropolitan Region have developed to be the most competitive regions within global market, and they are the most influential financial, commercial and information centers in the world. In China, fast development in the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta makes them the gateways combining domestic economy with global markets. Accordingly, in the context of globalization and industrialization process, how to transform the core cities located in central provinces of China into competitive metropolitan regions has great significance to the successful achievement of Rising Strategy of Central China. By employing component analysis and Gravity Model, the centralization degree of each core city is calculated. Furthermore, on the basis of comprehensive analysis, this paper suggests that the Greater Wuhan areas consisting of several adjacent cities can be developed into the most powerful economic growth pole of the Central China, through which regional manufacturing, trade and financial activities in hinterland can be mapped into global production networks. Meanwhile, the provincial capital cities, such as Taiyuan, Zhenzhou, Changsha, Hefei, and Nanchang, can be developed into the primary metropolitan regions and their linkages and flows beyond metropolitan centers will effectively reduce regional disparity and eventually promote the whole regional development to a high level.

Key words: centralization degree, extended metropolitan region, the central China