Urban Shrinkage in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region and Yangtze River Delta: Pattern, Trajectory and Factors

Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


This paper investigates the shrinkage patterns and related influencing factors in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region (BTH) and the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) using data from the 5th and 6th national censuses. The permanent resident population, registered population and working population are used to measure the urban shrinkage. The results show the following: (1) nearly twenty percent of cities/countries/districts of BTH and half of YRD present a local shrinkage phenomenon, which is still growing. (2) The shrinkage areas in BTH are primarily mainly located north of Hebei in Zhangjiakou and Chengde, and it has spread to the south central plain of Hebei, while the shrinkage in the YRD presents a spatial agglomeration pattern distributed in Northern Jiangsu, southwestern Zhejiang and most of Anhui province, except Hefei and Wuhu. (3) The shrinkage trajectories in the megacity regions can be classified into five forms: less-developed peripheral shrinking, large city downtown shrinking, industrial and mineral city shrinking, adjustment of administrative division and county/rural/town shrinking. (4) Outflow of population caused by unequal development of the regional economy, urbanization level and urban administrative system contributed to the shrinkage; some western shrinkage included suburbanization, deindustrialization or industrial transformation, whereas demographic shifts only emerged in a small number of large cities’ downtowns and some old industrial and mining cities (towns). (5) Urban shrinkage in China is more complex and should be considered a cumulative and self-reinforcing process, which warrants further investigation.


Shrinking cities City-regional differences Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Yangtze River Delta 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Capital University of Economics BusinessBeijingChina

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