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Location patterns of urban industry in Shanghai and implications for sustainability

Cao, W, Li, Y, Cheng, J and Millington, SD (2017) Location patterns of urban industry in Shanghai and implications for sustainability. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 27 (7). pp. 857-878. ISSN 1009-637X


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China’s economy has undergone rapid transition and industrial restructuring. The term “urban industry” describes a particular type of industry within Chinese cities experiencing restructuring. Given the high percentage of industrial firms that have either closed or relocated from city centres to the urban fringe and beyond, emergent global cities such as Shanghai, are implementing strategies for local economic and urban development, which involve urban industrial upgrading numerous firms in the city centre and urban fringe. This study aims to analyze the location patterns of seven urban industrial sectors within the Shanghai urban region using 2008 micro-geography data. To avoid Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP) issue, four distance-based measures including nearest neighbourhood analysis, Kernel density estimation, K-function and co-location quotient have been extensively applied to analyze and compare the concentration and co-location between the seven sectors. The results reveal disparate patterns varying with distance and interesting co-location as well. The results are as follows: the city centre and the urban fringe have the highest intensity of urban industrial firms, but the zones with 20–30 km from the city centre is a watershed for most categories; the degree of concentration varies with distance, weaker at shorter distance, increasing up to the maximum distance of 30 km and then decreasing until 50 km; for all urban industries, there are three types of patterns, mixture of clustered, random and dispersed distribution at a varied range of distances. Consequently, this paper argues that the location pattern of urban industry reflects the stage-specific industrial restructuring and spatial transformation, conditioned by sustainability objectives.

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