GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (9): 1697-1708.doi: 10.11821/dlyj201709008

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Commercial spatial structure optimization based on trade area analysis from a micro-scale perspective in Beijing

Fang WANG1(), Fangqu NIU2(), Zhiqiang WANG2   

  1. 1. School of Public Management of Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010070, China
    2. Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2017-02-26 Revised:2017-06-19 Online:2017-09-15 Published:2017-12-12


Urban commercial districts are concentrated areas for shopping, leisure, business and other activities. For urban planners, the layout of commercial districts should not only be appropriately concentrated to realize economic benefit, but also properly dispersed to accommodate the distribution of the population. Taking Beijing as a case study, this paper conducted a small-scale research of trade areas by utilizing the open source big data, such as POI (Point of Information) and real estate information websites. We created a model of spatialization of the population on a residential block scale as well as a combined measure of Huff model and Voronoi diagram. These methods were used to systematically analyze the commercial spatial structure from the viewpoint of a small area in Beijing. We explored the layout and population of trade areas of five different functional types of commercial districts based on our previous related research, including dietary and cultural commercial districts, franchise-type commercial districts, shopping commercial districts, convenience commercial districts, and complex commercial districts. The results reveal that different kinds of trade areas have different spatial distribution features. Problems were also found: the areas of commercial trade areas at the urban fringes and the number of people they serve are too large; there are blind spots in the urban center; and there is incongruity between the commercial district type and population layout. Based on these findings, we propose several measures to optimize the commercial spatial structure: promoting the development of commerce in the outer space of the central city; making up for the layout shortage of commercial districts in the central city; defining the direction and development of the commercial districts based on the functional type; improving the urban commercial planning based on the functional and spatial structures.

Key words: trade area, commercial district, residential block, spatial structure optimization, Beijing