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Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4754;

Spatiotemporal Variation and Inequality in China’s Economic Resilience across Cities and Urban Agglomerations

1,2, 3, 4,5,6,*,† and 1,3,*,†
Institute of Regional and Urban-Rural Development, Wuhan University, 299 Bayi Road, Wuhan 430072, China
School of Tourism Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia
School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
Institute for Global Innovation and Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
Institute of Eco-Chongming, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The correspondence authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 11 November 2018 / Revised: 9 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 13 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Geography: Location, Innovation and Sustainable Development)
PDF [4636 KB, uploaded 13 December 2018]


Economic resilience is a critical indicator of the sustainable development of an urban economy. This paper measures the urban economic resilience (UER) of 286 major cities in China from six indicators—economic growth, opening up, social development, environmental protection, natural conditions, and technological innovation—using a subjective and objective weighting method and the Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) methods. Furthermore, kernel density estimation (KDE) was used to reveal the spatial and temporal trends in UER across cities, and a social opportunity function was applied to access the opportunity for economic resilience and the fairness of opportunities for economic resilience in 19 urban agglomerations in China. The results show that the UER was, in general, low across all cities but increased over time. Geographically, the UER disperses from the eastern coast to inland cities. Amongst urban agglomerations in China, the economic resilience opportunity index also varies spatially and increases over time. On the other hand, the opportunity fairness index of UER remained largely stable and substantial inequalities exist across all urban agglomerations, indicating the need for differentiated policy intervention to ensure equality and the sustainable development of the region. The methodology developed in this research can also be applied in other cities and regions to test its re-applicability and to understand the UER in different contexts. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban economic resilience; economic resilience opportunity; inequality; urban agglomeration urban economic resilience; economic resilience opportunity; inequality; urban agglomeration

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Yu, H.; Liu, Y.; Liu, C.; Fan, F. Spatiotemporal Variation and Inequality in China’s Economic Resilience across Cities and Urban Agglomerations. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4754.

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