Reinterpretation of the Theory of Central Place in a Context of Space of Flow:A Study on Provincial City Network in Shandong Province
CHENG Yao;WANG Li;College of Architecture and Urban Planning,Tongji University;Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning & Design Institute;
Since the late 20 th Century, the process of globalization keeps changing world's economic geographic landscape. In this context, the theory of"space of flow"is rising and challenging the classic regional spatial model such as the Central Place Theory. After reviewing both the theories and researches of central place and space of flow, it is argued that in the meso-scale, or the provincial scale, geography, administration and many other embeddedness altogether shape the regional space. Therefore, different from the global or national city network which are mostly studied, the structure and space of provincial city network are entangled with factors and influences in the term of"space of place".To prove this, we use the data base of the Third National Economic Census database in Shandong Province, identifying the pairs of headquarters and branches. By doing so, a city network in Shandong Province is depicted which redefine and describe a kind of central place with a network perspective. It is argued that it is a continuous process from the hierarchical urban system to city network. Later, the factors geographic distance and urban administrative hierarchies are introduced to examine their correlation with the network spatiality respectively. It is found out that the geographic location of the cities can greatly shape their connecting pathways with other nodes in the network. On the other hand, the administrative hierarchies which are measured by the appearance of bureaucratic enterprises' headquarter-branch dyads mainly influence the network power structure instead its spatiality. In the end of this paper, the Theory of Central Place is reinterpreted under a context of space of flow. Further, some policy suggestions are proposed to spatial planning in Chinese provinces.