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Assessing Polycentric Urban Development in Mountainous Cities: The Case of Chongqing Metropolitan Area, China

School of Construction Management and Real Estate, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400045, China
School of Planning, Design, and Construction & Center for Global Change and Earth Observation, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Department of Land Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029, China
School of Urban Design, Wuhan University, Wuhang 430072, China
Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning and Design Institute, Beijing 100085, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2790;
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
PDF [3879 KB, uploaded 15 May 2019]


Mountainous settlements accommodate nearly one tenth of the world’s population. Most mountainous cities have adopted the strategy of polycentric urban development due to an asymmetric geography, which has received little attention from mainstream research. To fill the research gap, we proposed an analytical framework and conducted a multi-dimensional measurement of polycentricity. Taking Chongqing for the case study, this work confirmed that polycentricity is morphological and functional in mountainous cities. Polycentricity is believed to be particularly applicable to mountainous and water-rich landscapes, leading to an appropriate, balanced distribution and the strong multi-directional connectivity of urban nodes. This characteristic may partly result from natural determinism and long-term planning adaptation, complementary to market forces. Policy implications for planning such as avoiding excessive encroachment on natural barriers and increasing functional linkage in newly established subcenters were also proposed. View Full-Text
Keywords: mountainous city; polycentricity; urban form; morphological; functional mountainous city; polycentricity; urban form; morphological; functional

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Liu, Y.; Fan, P.; Yue, W.; Huang, J.; Li, D.; Tian, Z. Assessing Polycentric Urban Development in Mountainous Cities: The Case of Chongqing Metropolitan Area, China. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2790.

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