Growth or Shrinkage: Discovering Development Patterns and Planning Strategies for Cross-Border Areas in China

Tingting Chen, Eddie C.M. Hui, Ying Tu, Wei Lang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Exponential growth and shrinkage of cities are two opposing trends in urban development. In this study, we analyze spatial growth and shrinkage at the regional level. We use the Guangzhou-Foshan region to identify the pattern and process of growth and shrinkage in the region with particular focus on cross-border areas. Specifically, we focus on how addressing shrinkage led to changes in urban planning with an in-depth discussion of its formation mechanism and the introduction of planning strategies. From the changes in light results during the period from 1985 to 2017 of the Guangzhou-Foshan region, stable areas are mainly concentrated in the old urban areas built before 2000, the largest urban area is of continuous growth type in line with the characteristics of urban expansion, and the area of shrinkage is small but concentrated in the cross-border areas. Particularly, since the 2008 financial crisis, extensive changes have been noted in the cross-border areas where such growing and shrinking areas coexist. Regional integration and the optimization of urban space would be effective methods to confront shrinkage. The findings may provide some reference for the urban shrinkage phenomenon that occurs in cross-border areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number05021046
JournalJournal of Urban Planning and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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