The Spatial-Temporal Dynamics of China’s Changing Urban Hierarchy (1950–2005)
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This paper examines the dynamic spatial and temporal patterns of China’s urban hierarchy from 1950 to 2005. We limit the study to mainland China’s 137 urban agglomerations of 750,000 or more population as of 2005. The paper improves upon a classic approach to measuring shifting ranks within an urban hierarchy by applying advanced spatial analysis techniques. We use a Getis-Ord G∗ i , a space-timeMoran scatter plot, and dynamic LISA paths to examine the regional difference and change for these urban agglomerations. Our study revealed a north-south divide in the changing urban hierarchy of China after 1990. The analysis demonstrated that the spatial and temporal shift of urban dominance in China was closely associated with policy and economic factors. The paper concludes with a discussion of the differences across the six different time periods of change from 1950 to 2005.