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Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1588; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051588

Polycentric Development and the Role of Urban Polycentric Planning in China’s Mega Cities: An Examination of Beijing’s Metropolitan Area

1,2,3,4
and
1,2,3,*
1
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Nature Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2
Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
3
College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
4
Department of City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3140, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 April 2018 / Revised: 8 May 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Abstract

An emerging polycentric spatial structure in China’s mega cities has been confirmed in the literature, but few studies have addressed the linkage between the change in spatial structure and urban development policies. Using Beijing as a case study, this paper examines the role of urban polycentric planning in the polycentric evolution process from a morphological perspective. We observed that urban polycentric planning significantly promoted the emergence of a polycentric urban form in Beijing’s metropolitan area from 2001 to 2010. Firstly, most of the planned subcenters were identified as real employment subcenters by a relative threshold method in 2001 and 2010 and comprised the majority of the employment subcenters. Secondly, the planned subcenters significantly increased their employment share and influence on employment and population distribution from 2001 to 2010, and their performances referring to these aspects were much better than the unplanned subcenters. Thus, our findings provide evidence that changes in urban spatial structure can be strongly affected by urban development policies, although it is determined by market forces in theory. View Full-Text
Keywords: employment subcenters; polycentricity; urban polycentric planning; Beijing employment subcenters; polycentricity; urban polycentric planning; Beijing
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Liu, Z.; Liu, S. Polycentric Development and the Role of Urban Polycentric Planning in China’s Mega Cities: An Examination of Beijing’s Metropolitan Area. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1588.

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