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Open AccessArticle

Quantifying the Spatial Integration Patterns of Urban Agglomerations along an Inter-City Gradient

by Yiliang Wan 1,2,†, Chuxiong Deng 1,2,*,†, Tao Wu 1,2,*,†, Rui Jin 3,†, Pengfei Chen 4,5 and Rong Kou 4
1
College of Resources and Environment Sciences, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China
2
Key Laboratory of Geospatial Big Data Mining and Application, Changsha 410081, China
3
Department of Urban and Rural Planning, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
4
School of Remote Sensing and Information Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
5
Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics, The Hongkong Polytechnic University, Hongkong, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 5000; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185000
Received: 3 August 2019 / Revised: 4 September 2019 / Accepted: 9 September 2019 / Published: 12 September 2019
Understanding the integration process of urban agglomeration is essential for sustainable regional development and urban planning. However, few studies have analyzed the spatial integration patterns of metropolitan regions according to the impacts of landscape ecology along rail transit corridors. This study performed a comprehensive inter-city gradient analysis using landscape metrics and radar charts in order to determine the integration characteristics of an urban agglomeration. Specifically, we analyzed the evolution of spatial heterogeneity and functional landscapes along gradient transects in the Changsha–Zhuzhou–Xiangtan (CZT) metropolitan region during the period of 1995–2015. Four landscape functional zones (urban center, urban area, urban–rural fringe, and green core) were identified based on a cluster analysis of landscape composition, connectivity, and fragmentation. The landscape metric NP/LPI (number of patches/largest patch index) was proposed to identify the urban–rural fringe, which revealed that the CZT region exhibited a more aggregated form, characterized by a single-core, continuous development, and the compression of green space. The integration of cities has resulted in continued compression and fragmentation of ecological space. Therefore, strategies for controlling urban expansion should be adopted for sustainable urban development. The proposed method can be used to quantify the integration characteristics of urban agglomerations, providing scientific support for urban landscape planning. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban agglomeration; spatial integration; rail transit corridor; landscape metrics; gradient analysis; landscape functional zone urban agglomeration; spatial integration; rail transit corridor; landscape metrics; gradient analysis; landscape functional zone
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Wan, Y.; Deng, C.; Wu, T.; Jin, R.; Chen, P.; Kou, R. Quantifying the Spatial Integration Patterns of Urban Agglomerations along an Inter-City Gradient. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5000.

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