Space-Time Analysis and Factors Attribution of Urban Shrinkage in Northeast China

  • Jiahui FanEmail author
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


Northeast China has been involved in urban shrinkage, or a decline in the economy and the population in recent years. This paper used population data to identify shrinking cities, analyzed the space-time distribution of urban shrinkage in Northeast China, and then attempted to identify influencing factors. The space-time distribution of the urban shrinkage was measured at the prefecture and district–county levels using data from 2000, 2008, 2010, and 2016. During 2000–2010, nearly 1/3 of prefecture-level units and 1/2 of district–county units experienced urban shrinkage. Moreover, during 2008–2016, the data increased to nearly 8/9 and 3/4. The phenomenon of urban shrinkage is becoming increasingly common in Northeast China. Several significant agglomeration areas have been formed in Daxinganling, Yichun-Heihe, Jiamusi, and Jixi-Qitaihe-Mudanjiang-Yanbian. On the whole, the shrinking areas are expanding. The phenomenon is obvious, particularly in Heilongjiang Province. This paper uses quantitative and qualitative methods to identify influencing factors from regional economic disparities, urbanization processes, industrial structure changes, population structure changes, and administrative division adjustments. The results showed that the secondary and tertiary industrial structure changes and administrative division adjustments had the strongest relevance to urban shrinkage in Northeast China and that this urban shrinkage was mainly influenced by the second industry atrophy caused by the “deindustrialization” of this time. At the same time, the adjustment of regional divisions in Northeast China objectively led to substantial changes in population statistics, which caused population shrinkage in some areas. Urban shrinkage is a process of objective development and an unavoidable and diachronic issue in many cities. The process is complex, and the population changes and economic vitality, in particular, represent a mutual cause-and-effect phenomenon that requires more in-depth research.


Northeast China Urban shrinkage Space-time analysis Factors 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Architecture and Urban PlanningTongji UniversityYangpu District, ShanghaiChina

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