WANG Shijun1, WANG Yongchao1, WANG Dan2
WANG Shijun1, WANG Yongchao1, WANG Dan2
Using the radius of gyration from fractal theory, this paper describes the calculation of fractal dimensions for the four tiers of central places in the Jilin Central Urban Agglomeration (JCUA), Jilin Province, China and the structural characteristics of each tier: 1) the 1st tier central place, Changchun Proper (not including Shuangyang District), provides the most service functions and has the most stable primate position; 2) the 2nd tier central places, Jilin Proper, Siping Proper, Liaoyuan Proper and Songyuan Proper have unclear statuses and do not provide certain functions; 3) the 3rd tier central places comprise 23 county-level cities, counties and urban districts (including Shuangyang District of Changchun), exhibiting a dense spatial structure that agrees with theory; 4) the 4th tier contains the largest number of central places (248 designated towns), but they are loosely distributed. In this study, a spatial image of the JCUA was created, based on vectorized data of the urban settlement distribution, which was then modified and abstracted to create a hexagonal network covering the JCUA. Compared to the traditional central place model, the modified spatial image conforms to the K = 3 principle. In reality, however, the growth of some 3rd tier central places should be increased with the cities being upgraded to the 2nd tier so as to overcome that tier's functional deficiency. The loose distribution in the 4th tier should also be changed. This apparent anomaly can be explained by the fact that the classic hexagon model used to describe the way market areas layout does not exist in the real world. However, this should not be viewed as an obstacle to using central place theory. If its assumptions are properly applied, it can still assist research into the spatial structure of regions.
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