Polycentric urban development in China: A multi-scale analysis

Xingjian Liu, Ben Derudder, Mingshu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

119 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports a multi-scale analysis of polycentric urban development in 22 Chinese
city-regions. Using fine-grained population data, our analysis contrasts polycentric development patterns at multiple geographical scales. We present a typology of Chinese city-regions based on both (1) their inter-city polycentricity and (2) the intra-city polycentricity of the individual cities that comprise these urban regions. Overall, we find only limited levels of association between inter-city and intra-city polycentricity. The Pearl River and Yangtze River Deltas have high levels of inter-city and intra-city polycentricity. Most city-regions in Central and Western China are characterized by a primate urban system and low levels of inter-city polycentricity. We hypothesize the major economic, political, and geographical processes underlying observed patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-972
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Polycentricity
  • inter-city
  • intra-city
  • multi-scale


Dive into the research topics of 'Polycentric urban development in China: A multi-scale analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this