Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Chinese Version)


major function zone; spatial structure; territorial function; evolution process; high-quality development; pattern optimization

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The major function zoning plays a strategic role in economic development and ecological environment protection in China. Analyzing the evolutionary process and trends in spatial structure is essential for the pattern optimization of land development and major function zones. The aim of this study is to explore the scientific and policy implications of the evolution of the spatial structure of major function zones. This paper first takes several basic parameters, namely the population ratio/economic ratio of the urbanization areas, agricultural development areas, and ecological security areas; then, measures the evolution characteristics of core-periphery structure and pole-axis structure five years before and after the implementation of national major function zoning planning in 2010 to reveal the spatial structure of the core, edge, and the variation along the axis. Considering the new requirements on the construction of ecological civilization and regional coordinated development strategy in the new period, this paper further analyzes the problems of the evolution of territorial spatial structure from the aspects of regional disparities, resource and environment effects, and external relations. The results show that population and economy are further concentrated in urbanized areas, urban agglomeration areas, and the main development axis. The results also reveal that the population agglomeration process is faster than the economic agglomeration process. The overall economy and population of the country demonstrate a trend of mutual equilibrium, which is in line with the national natural carrying capacity and the territorial function suitability that considering the geographic location and system integrity. The regional disparities among different function areas, regional plates, the core area, and the edge area, along the axis area and away from the axis area show a narrowing trend. However, the problems of unbalanced regional development, resources, and the environment are still outstanding. The existing national "two horizontal and three vertical" axes cannot meet the strategic needs of coordinated regional development and the Silk Road Economic Belt's opening up in the new era. The following policy recommendations are proposed:promoting the further concentration of population in urban agglomerations and core areas of major axes to achieve a balance between population and economy; further reducing the population pressure in the peripheral areas of the northern region to promote a balance between population size and natural carrying capacity; adding the Pearl River-Xijiang development axis and to improve the "three horizontal and three vertical" strategic axes of territorial development; and extending the major axes along the Yangtze River passage, the land bridge passage and the Baokun passage to adapt to the openness strategy in the new era.

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Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences


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