GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (3): 762-778.doi: 10.11821/dlyj020200126

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Spatio-temporal evolution and coupling characteristics of urban scale expansion and quality growth in Bohai Rim

QU Yanbo1(), WANG Xia1, WANG Shilei1, ZHU Weiya2(), PING Zongli2, WANG Sen2   

  1. 1. School of Public Management, Shandong University of Finance and Economic, Jinan 250014, China
    2. Shandong Land Survey and Planning Institute, Jinan 250014, China
  • Received:2020-02-24 Accepted:2020-05-06 Online:2021-03-10 Published:2021-05-10
  • Contact: ZHU Weiya;


Currently, urban expansion and quality growth constitute the main contradiction in China′s urbanization development. How to measure the coordinated evolution of the two factors has become an important issue for the sustainable development of regional cities. This paper takes the third growth pole of China's economy, the Bohai Rim region as the research area. Based on the understanding of the urban system theory, a multi-dimensional integrated urban scale and quality measurement system is constructed, and the spatio-temporal evolution and coupling relationship between urban scale expansion and quality growth are analyzed by using the Theil index and decoupling model. The influence mechanism of urban system high-quality operation is explored in both internal and external aspects. The results show that: (1) From 2000 to 2019, the urban scale expansion and urban quality growth in the Bohai Rim region continued to rise, and showed certain spatial pattern characteristics, in which Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) showed a "concentric circle" pattern of high-medium differentiation, Shandong Peninsula showed an "axis and wing" pattern of medium-high value agglomeration, Liaodong Peninsula showed a "mutation" pattern of low-medium-high areas coexistence. (2) The regional differences of urban expansion and quality growth in the Bohai Rim are generally reduced, with the regional differences in the three regions occupying the leading position. Reduction speeds of urban expansion are in an order of Shandong Peninsula > BTH > Liaodong Peninsula, and reduction speeds of urban quality growth are in an order of BTH > Liaodong Peninsula > Shandong Peninsula. The evolution trend of cities in different regions is complex and diverse. (3) The decoupling type of urban expansion and quality growth in the Bohai Rim region has experienced an evolutionary process from "SND-WD" to "WD-SD". The decoupling state tends to be coupled as a whole, and the degree of decoupling is in an order of BTH > Shandong Peninsula > Liaodong Peninsula. (4) The urban expansion, quality growth and their coupling and optimization in the Bohai Rim region are the manifestation of the comprehensive effects of the internal and external factors influencing the urban system. Many different factors promote different urban systems to transform from scale expansion to quality growth through long-term regulation, conditional effects, slow regulation and effective intervention.

Key words: scale expansion, quality growth, Theil index, decoupling model, driving mechanism, Bohai Rim