Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2021, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (12): 1757-1774.doi: 10.1007/s11442-021-1921-1

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Unraveling the multi-scalar residential segregation and socio-spatial differentiation in China: A comparative study based on Nanjing and Hangzhou

SONG Weixuan1(), HUANG Qinshi2,3,*(), GU Yue1,4, HE Ge3   

  1. 1. Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    2. School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang University of Science and Technology, Hangzhou 310023, China
    3. School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
    4. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2021-07-05 Accepted:2021-08-26 Online:2021-12-25 Published:2022-02-25
  • Contact: HUANG Qinshi;
  • About author:Song Weixuan (1981‒), PhD and Associate Professor, specialized in urban social geography. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41771184);National Natural Science Foundation of China(42171234)


Residential segregation is a dual process of socio-spatial differentiation in residents and spatio-temporal heterogeneity in dwelling. However, most of the existing studies are established from the single perspective of urban residents based on demographic data, which is difficult to reveal the dynamics and complex spatial reconstruction within and between cities. With the characteristics of both stability and timeliness, the rapidly changing housing market is one of the processes and results of socio-spatial reconfiguration, and it is undoubtedly a better lens to observe residential segregation. This paper adopts methods such as multi-group segregation index, multi-scalar segregation profiles, and decomposition of segregation index, with Nanjing and Hangzhou as case cities, and establishes multi-scalar segregation profiles and comparative models based on three geographical scales of census tract, block and grid, and different residential types. A quantitative study was conducted on the degree and pattern of multi-scalar residential segregation in Nanjing and Hangzhou from 2009 to 2018. The paper found that the spatial segregation index is an improvement of the non-spatial segregation index. There are differences between Nanjing and Hangzhou in the evolution process of residential segregation. Nanjing has a higher degree of spatial differentiation as a whole, among which spatial components have a more significant impact.

Key words: residential differentiation, multi-scalar, housing market, housing price, spatial segregation index