Field Modeling Method for Identifying Urban Sphere of Influence: A Case Study on Central China


With rapid development of urbanization and regional interaction and interdependence, regional urban agglomeration planning becomes more and more important in China, in order to promote integrated development of various cities with close interrelationship. However, it is still arguable academically on how to define the boundary or which cities to be included for the urban agglomeration of a region. This paper aims to shed lights on how to identify urban spheres of influence scientifically by introducing field modeling method and by practicing a case study on 168 cities in Central China. In our field modeling method, the influence intensities of cities were measured by a comprehensive index and urban spheres of influence were represented spatially by field intensity. Then, their classification and spatial distribution characteristics of study area in 2007 were identified and explored by using GIS and statistical methods. The result showed that: 1) Wuhan is the absolute dominant city in Central China; 2) the provincial capital cities dominate their own provinces and there are no other lower grade agglomeration centers; and 3) the basic types of organization form of urban sphere of influence are single-polar type, agglomeration type, close-related group type and loose-related group type. KeywordsCentral China-urban sphere of influence-urban influence index-field intensity-urban influence intensity …

Chinese Geographical Science