Differentiation and progress of urban regionalization in China: Perspectives of land use and geography

Feng Xu, Zhanqi Wang, Guangqing Chi, Donghui Wang, Zhexi Zhang, Danyu Zuo

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13 Scopus citations


The explosive population growth and economic development in cities have led to continuous but diverse urban regionalization. The resulting urban agglomerations (UAs) exhibit differentiation at both regional and local scales. Few studies have documented the disparities in UAs regarding land use and geography. In this study, we investigated the county-level land use features of 19 China's planned UAs by using a land use intensity (LUI) metric. We employed the spatial autocorrelation, inequality statistics, and imbalance estimation models to estimate the agglomeration, inequalities, and coordination of land use, and we combined those indicators to distinguish the development pattern of all UAs. Our findings revealed that spatial pattern of LUIs and their autocorrelations over time are closely associated with the evolution of urban regionalization. The widening gaps of land use exist more within the UAs than among them. Based on the LUI inequality and its relations to population and economy, UAs were classified into core-driven, differentiated, coordinated, and mismatched ones. Our conclusions highlighted that policy incentives for sustainable urbanization help decouple the synchronism of socioeconomic and LUI inequality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102600
JournalApplied Geography
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Environmental Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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