Regional urbanization in China has made formidable progress in, among other things, economic growth and urban sprawl, but local development is undergoing severe stress with irreversible impacts for urban ecological environment. Furthermore, spatial interactions are proved to be related to urban coordinated development. However, this spatial effect cannot usually be found in the literature. Based on the concept of coordinated development, the interaction among the economic, social and ecological systems of cities at prefecture level and above in China can be modeled by a coupling coordination model, and then analyzed using spatial analysis methods and spatial econometrics models, which can explain the patterns in spatial variation and its evolutionary trends. The results show that urban coordinated development has an apparent spatial heterogeneity, and East China develops better than West China. Moreover, urban coordinated development has an increasing global trend, which mainly results from East China, while the other regions cannot provide a definite boost. Lastly, there is an evident spatial dependence in urban coordinated development, which is positively influenced by an area’s own previous condition and its neighboring cities. Furthermore, population size, local GDP and green land, etc. have spatial spillover effects on urban coordinated development in China.
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