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Measuring Spatial Structure of China’s Mega-Regions

Jiawen Yang, Ge Song, and Jian Lin

April 2013, English

Reflecting upon China’s current path of regional urbanization, this research studies the polycentric structure of China’s mega-regions. It defines the concept and measurement for mega-regional polycentricity, and utilizes the spatial statistics tool—standard deviational ellipse of directional distribution—to measure the demographic spatial pattern of individual mega-regions. The result reveals that most mega-regions in China do not have significant polycentricity. They are either dominated by a single major center, or by a number of major centers clustered closely. A challenge for China’s mega-regional development is to explore the potential policy instruments that can promote a more polycentric mega-regional spatial pattern and more balanced spatial development.

Keywords: Regional Planning, Polycentric Development, Statistical Measures, Spatial Pattern, China.


Planning, Regionalism