Are all cities with similar urban form or not? Redefining cities with ubiquitous points of interest and evaluating them with indicators at city and block levels in China
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© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Urban forms reflect spatial structures of cities, which have been consciously and dramatically changing in China. Fast urbanisation may lead to similar urban forms due to similar habits and strategies of city planning. However, whether urban forms in China are identical or significantly different has not been empirically investigated. In this paper, urban forms are investigated based on two spatial units: city and block. The boundaries of natural cities in terms of the density of human settlements and activities are delineated with the concept of ‘redefined city’ using points of interests (POIs), and blocks are determined by road networks. Urban forms are characterised by city-block two-level spatial morphologies. Further, redefined cities are classified into four hierarchies to examine the effects of different city development stages on urban forms. The spatial morphology is explained by urbanisation variables to understand the effects. Results show that the urban forms are spatially clustered from the perspective of city-block two-level morphologies. Urban forms tend to be similar within the same hierarchies, but significantly varied among different hierarchies, which is closely related to the development stages. Additionally, the spatial dimensional indicators of urbanisation could explain 41% of the spatial morphology of redefined cities.
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