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Evolution process of urban spatial pattern in Hubei Province based on DMSP/OLS nighttime light data

Zheng, Wensheng, Run, Jiying, Zhuo, Rongrong, Jiang, Yupei, Wang, Xiaofang
Chinese geographical science 2016 v.26 no.3 pp. 366-376
cities, models, social networks, urbanization, China
This paper intends to investigate the urban spatial patterns of Hubei Province and its evolution from three different perspectives: urban nodes, urban connections and urban clusters. The research adopts nighttime light imagery of cities in Hubei Province, the viewpoint of ′point-axis-area′ in the ′point-axis system′ theory, and employs light index model, gravity model and social network analysis. The findings are as follows: 1) In terms of urban nodes, the urbanization process of Hubei has been carried out mainly on the basis of external expansion rather than internal increasing. The polarization trend of urban connection network is strengthening. 2) As for urban connections, the estimation of urban connections using light index model is capable of containing various actual flow, and the connections are getting increasingly closer. 3) In regard to urban groups, seven urban groups of varying sizes have formed. On that basis, three stable and relatively independent urban groups as the centers, namely Wuchang, Yichang and Xiangyang emerge as well. But the structures of ′Wuhan Metropolitan Area′, ′Yichang-Jingzhou-Jingmen City Group′ and ′Xiangyang-Shiyen-Suizhou City Group′, which are defined by local development strategy in Hubei Province, are different from the above three urban groups.