Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2015, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (6): 723-738.doi: 10.1007/s11442-015-1198-3

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evolution of regional transport dominance in China 1910-2012

Hao HU1(), Jiaoe WANG2,*(), Fengjun JIN2, Nan DING3   

  1. 1. Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies, CASS, Beijing 100028, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, New York 14260-1660, USA
  • Received:2014-03-10 Accepted:2014-10-30 Online:2015-06-15 Published:2015-06-15
  • Contact: Jiaoe WANG;
  • About author:

    Author: Hu Hao (1984-), PhD, specialized in regional development studies.

  • Supported by:
    The Programme of Bingwei Excellent Young Scientists of the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, No.2011RC201;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41371143;No.41171107


Transport infrastructure plays an important role in shaping the configuration of spatial socio-economic structures and influencing regional accessibility. Although China’s transport infrastructure has been experiencing a rapid development in the last 100 years, there lacks a systematic examination of the complete evolution history of China’s transport development, particularly with all kinds of transport modes. This paper first aims to clarify the history of China’s transportation from 1910 to 2012, and divides its evolution process into five periods (1911, 1935, 1953, 1981 and 2012) whereby each period represents the preliminary development time for each transport mode. Second, the paper calculates the transport dominance and analyses its spatial distribution in each period, with county as the basic analysis unit. Transport dominance here is defined as an integrated indicator for evaluating regional transport conditions. The results demonstrate the following: (1) areas with relative good transport dominance have expanded from scattered dots such as Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou in 1911 to extensive areas with each provincial city as cores in 2012; (2) transport development is improved by advances in transportation technology. The construction of modern transport infrastructures such as seaports, airports, high-speed rails (HSRs), and freeways lead the expansion of national territorial areas with good and excellent transport dominance and the increase of the value of transport dominance over time; (3) transport dominance is spatially unevenly distributed and exhibits resemblance with the expansion of transport network, which is closely related to China’s socio-economic development and policies.

Key words: transport dominance, transport infrastructure, spatial evolution, regions, history, China