Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2021, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (12): 1775-1790.doi: 10.1007/s11442-021-1922-0

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Quantitative measurement of the effects of administrative division adjustments on regional development

WANG Kaiyong1(), FENG Rundong1,2,*()   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2021-02-28 Accepted:2021-09-10 Online:2021-12-25 Published:2022-02-25
  • Contact: FENG Rundong;
  • About author:Wang Kaiyong (1980-), PhD and Professor, specialized in urban geography and administrative division. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41871151)


Administrative divisions are the important foundation of national governance and social development, and the adjustment of administrative divisions is a critical way to promote regional coordinated development. Under the background of globalization and regionalization, timely adjustment of administrative divisions is a major step to reconstruct the regional development pattern. In the perspective of regional coordinated development, this paper constructs an Administrative Rank Potential Energy (ARPE) model to explore the mechanisms of administrative division adjustment (ADA) under coordinated regional development based on the theory of regional interaction, spatial field energy model and power exponential function. The results show that: (1) The development potential and influence of an administrative region are closely related to the administrative jurisdiction, administrative resources, and the potential of regional coordinated development. (2) The growth rate of ARPE in the study area from 2010 to 2015 was 20.7% compared to the period 2005 to 2010, and the potential for coordinated development increased to 3.05% from 0.21% before the “cancelling” the prefecture-level city of Chaohu. (3) The measurement results of the usefulness of ADA can not only distinguish the complex impacts brought about by social development, but also accord with real social and economic development conditions. The ARPE focuses on the both regional integrated development and individual development, thereby serving as a reference for explaining and evaluating adjustments to administrative divisions at the macro- and micro-scales.

Key words: administrative division adjustment, administrative rank potential energy, coordinated development, regional effects, Chaohu