GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2009, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (4): 957-967.doi: 10.11821/yj2009040010

• Urban and Rural Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial distribution of external service capabilities of Chinese central cities

WANG Hai-jiang1, MIAO Chang-hong2,3   

  1. 1. School of Surveying &|Land Information Engineering, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo 454000, Henan, China;
    2. Research Center for Yellow River Civilization and Sustainable Development, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, Henan, China;
    3. College of Environment &|Planning, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, Henan, China
  • Received:2008-06-12 Revised:2008-11-18 Online:2009-07-25 Published:2009-07-25
  • Supported by:

    国家自然科学基金项目(40671049);教育部人文社科重点研究基地重大项目(04JJDZH016)

Abstract:

In this paper, we use the concept of urban flow to describe the basic economic activity in a city, and use the concept of urban flow intensity to represent the quantitative index of external service capability of a city. We find that there is strong positive correlation between urban flow intensity and centrality index of Chinese central cities and the urban flow intensity can be used to describe the quantity of external service capability of a city effectively. By calculating the urban flow intensities of 286 central cities in Chinese urban system and analyzing their structures, we investigate the spatial distribution of external service capabilities of Chinese central cities and summarize its characteristics. The main findings are as follows: more than 85% of the total external service capability of Chinese central cities centers on the bigger cities with a population of more than 500,000 and more than 65% centers on the mega-cities with a population of more than 1 million; the cities with a population of more than 1 million take the tertiary industry as their main external service sectors, whereas the cities with a population ranging from 500,000 to 1 million have outstanding performance in manufacturing industry; the three great urban agglomerations in the eastern region concentrate on nearly half of the total national urban flow intensity. Shanghai, Beijing-Tianjin and Guangzhou-Shenzhen are the three major external service centers in national scale; the total external service capability of central cities in the eastern region is much higher than the central, western and northeastern regions, so the distribution of external service levels of central cities is greatly uneven among different regions of China.

Key words: urban flow intensity, external service capability, central city, Chinese urban system