Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2020, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (10): 1603-1616.doi: 10.1007/s11442-020-1802-z

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Exploring the urban-rural development differences and influencing factors in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain of China

CHENG Mingyang1(), LI Linna1, ZHOU Yang1,2,3,*()   

  1. 1. Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-09-11 Accepted:2020-03-22 Online:2020-10-25 Published:2020-10-27
  • Contact: ZHOU Yang;
  • About author:Cheng Mingyang (1988–), PhD Candidate, specialized in land use and urban-rural development. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program, No(2017YFC0504701);Major Project of National Social Science Foundation of China, No(15ZDA021);China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, No(2016M591105)


Uneven urban and rural development is one of the main reasons for the decline of the countryside. This imbalance could be measured by the urban-rural difference index (URDI). Existing studies on urban-rural differences have focused on single dimension between urban and rural areas, and lack a systematic multi-dimensional measurement. Based on the construction of an index system and model for measuring urban-rural differences, this study took the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain (HHHP) as the study area, explores the spatial pattern of urban-rural differences in the area, and used geographical weighted regression models to identify the factors affecting urban-rural development differences. Results show that the mean value of URDI in the HHHP was 0.295, and the URDI in its western region was higher than that in the east. The average URDI was relatively high in the western counties along the Beijing-Guangzhou Railway. The low level of urban-rural “population-land-industry” development in the HHHP is an important reason for the small differences between urban and rural areas. Improvements in road transportation infrastructure have led to an increase in the urban-rural development gap. However, the driving force of the road network on urban development is greater than that on rural areas. The role of county economic agglomeration is gaining strength. In the process of rapid economic development, more attention should be paid to the development of the rural economy and the overall revitalization of the countryside. The equivalent allocation of social service facilities is an effective way to solve the problem of urban-rural imbalance. Further analysis demonstrated that terrain factors have relatively little influence on the URDI. This study provides a new perspective and measurement method for understanding the integration of urban and rural development, and provides a useful reference for guiding the urban-rural integration development and the rural revitalization.

Key words: urban-rural difference index (URDI), population-land-industry, urban-rural relationship, rural revitalization, Huang-Huai-Hai Plain (HHHP), China