GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (1): 13-24.doi: 10.11821/dlyj020180953

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The spatial pattern of urban production-living-ecological space quality and its related factors in China

LIU Pengfei1, SUN Bindong1,2,3,4()   

  1. 1. The Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2. Research Center for China Administrative Division, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
    3. Future Cities Laboratory, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
    4. Institute of Eco-Chongming, East China Normal University, Shanghai 202162, China
  • Received:2018-09-17 Revised:2019-09-03 Online:2020-01-20 Published:2020-03-20
  • Contact: SUN Bindong


As the main carrier of population and socio-economic activities, cities are also the places that accumulate the problems from production, living and ecological activities. In order to evaluate the quality of urban production-living-ecological space, this paper develops an evaluation index system based on its theoretical framework, and then analyses the overall characteristics and spatial distribution of the production-living-ecological space quality. Moreover, this paper explores the factors that may affect the quality of urban production-living-ecological space. Using data from 289 prefecture-level cities and above in China in 2015, we find that: (1) the urban production-living-ecological spatial quality is generally at a low level and decreases from the southeast coastal areas to the west and northeast inland areas. (2) The quality levels of production space in the northeast region and living space in the western region are significantly lower than those of other parts of China, and the quality level of ecological space depends on local natural ecology and pollution control. (3) While the quality levels of production and living spaces have a significantly positive correlation, the quality levels of production and ecological spaces show an opposite trend in quite a number of cities. (4) The urban production-living-ecological space quality is associated with the population size and administrative level in an inverted U shape. Specifically, cities with a population size between 10 million and 15 million are more conducive to improve the quality level of production-living-ecological space. Urban production-living-ecological space quality is positively associated with per capita GDP, and cities with comprehensive functions or located in urban clusters have a higher level of production-living-ecological space quality. The above conclusions provide important policy implications for deepening and implementing the planning of China's major function oriented zoning, regional development planning, and even the comprehensive spatial planning under construction from the perspective of production-living-ecological space, as well as directive guidance for urban development strategy and overall planning in different regions. On the whole, the optimization potential of urban production-living-ecological space should be fully released, especially more attention should be paid to the coordination of production-living-ecological space. Different regions should take overall consideration and make up for the shortcomings based on actual conditions respectively.

Key words: production space, living space, ecological space, production-living-ecological spaces, city, spatial pattern