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The urban growth, size distribution and spatio-temporal dynamic pattern of the Yangtze River Delta megalopolitan region, China

Guangjin Tian, Jing Jiang, Zhifeng Yang and Yaoqi Zhang

Ecological Modelling, 2011, vol. 222, issue 3, 865-878

Abstract: As one of the six megalopolitan regions in the world, the Yangtze River Delta is one of the most populated and developed regions of China. The spatial and temporal dynamic pattern of the urbanization process of the megalopolitan region is investigated. This work compared the spatial and temporal dynamic pattern of the urban growth for the five urban areas (Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi and Changzhou) in this region. During the 15 years, urban growth patterns were dramatically uneven over three 5-year periods. The size distribution of the five urban areas became more even with the rapid urbanization process. The patterns of urban expansion reflected policy adjustment and economic development throughout the time. Landscape metric analysis across concentric buffer zones was conducted to elucidate the area, shape, size, complexity and configuration of urban expansion. The study indicates the coalescence process occurred during the rapid urban growth from 1990 to 1995 and the moderate growth period from 2000 to 2005, but different urban growth period between 1995 and 2000. The urban growth pattern was coalesced for the Nanjing and Wuxi metropolitan areas and diffused for Shanghai, Suzhou and Changzhou. This approach indicates that the coalescence process was the major growth model for this region in the recent 15 years despite their different size, economic growth and population growth. The diffusion-coalesce dichotomy represent endpoints rather than alternate states of urban growth. This work will be beneficial in understanding the size distribution and urbanization process of the megalopolitan region in China.

Keywords: Urban growth; Size distribution; Spatio-temporal dynamic pattern; Yangtze River Delta (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecomod:v:222:y:2011:i:3:p:865-878