Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2021, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (2): 245-264.doi: 10.1007/s11442-021-1845-9

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Identifying the scope of the Lhasa Metropolitan Area based on a spatial field energy model

WANG Zhenbo1,2(), LI Jiaxin1,2, LIANG Longwu1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2020-03-22 Accepted:2020-07-31 Online:2021-02-25 Published:2021-04-25
  • About author:Wang Zhenbo, PhD and Associate Professor, specialized in urbanization.
  • Supported by:
    Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA20040401);The Second Comprehensive Scientific Investigation and Research on the Tibetan Plateau(2019QZKK1005)


The cultivation and development of modern metropolitan areas with the aim of establishing new regional centers with competitive edge is a key objective for the new-type urbanization directions in China. The construction of the Lhasa Metropolitan Area is of great significance for the promotion of the South Asia Channel, the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor, the Himalaya Economic Cooperation Zone, and for rapid development and long-term stability of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. This paper examines the scope of the Lhasa Metropolitan Area including Chengguanqu (Chengguan District), Doilungdeqen, Dagze, Lhunzhub, Damxung, Nyemo, Quxu, Maizhokunggar, Samzhubze Qu (Samzhubze District), Gyangze, Rinbung, Bainang, Nedong, Gonggar, and Zhanang using a spatial field energy model that combines nodality and accessibility indices and considers multiple indicators including traffic flow between cities. By combining factors such as the natural background, population agglomeration, the social economy, infrastructure construction, and the urban spatial structure of the Lhasa Metropolitan Area, it is proposed to build a bow-and-arrow-shaped urban system with ‘one core, two centers, one axis, and two wings’ along the valleys and the transportation trunk lines of the area. The study advocates the construction of a pure land industrial system comprising a green cultural and tourism-oriented plateau.

Key words: Lhasa Metropolitan Area, spatial scope, spatial field energy model, development path