Evolution of associated network characteristics between cities in Shandong province: Comparing central place and flow space theories
WANG Cheng;WANG Maojun;College of Resource Environment and Tourism, Capital Normal University;
Based on the theories of 'central place' and 'flow space', this paper used the urban flow intensity model and the improved gravity model to analyze urban economic ties in Shandong province from the perspective of urban network development from the city center.We built an abstract city association based on elements flow by combining geographic space of enterprise groups in Shandong province. We compared the evolution of a polycentric network from the two types of urban association patterns in Shandong province from 2000 to 2009 to determine the trends in network characteristics in two types of cities in four regions. We confirmed that the study of city relationships based on flow space theory avoided an over reliance on space-distance concepts. We also found that the relative stability of urban attributes during the study period based on central place theory effectively could not reflect the dynamic processes of city connection structures and direction. Some conclusions can be drawn as follows.(1) The urban structure correlations in Shandong province showed the evolution of a multi-center pattern from the dimensions of 'point-line-network', and a trend of urban network association equilibrium was emerging.(2) City network connections became more closely related. The structure of the association was mature, which provided additional possibilities for the development of the regional polycentric network. A close and efficient multi-core ring network was formed in the urban area, which provided a more extensive and convenient channel for the circulation of regional elements.(3) In the eastern and central parts of Shandong, cities' concentric internal economic ties tended to decline. However, in the southern and northwestern parts of the province, cities' close internal economic interactions were maintained with the central city and there was strong development of their economy.(4) The inward-focus characteristics of enterprise associations in eastern Shandong were obvious, but the eastern part had weaker cooperation with the central and western parts.