Chinese Geographical Science ›› 2017, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (3): 471-481.doi: 10.1007/s11769-017-0878-6

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Conceptualizing and Measuring Economic Resilience of Resource-based Cities: Case Study of Northeast China

TAN Juntao1,2, ZHANG Pingyu1, LO Kevin3, LI Jing1, LIU Shiwei1   

  1. 1. Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jilin Changchun 130102, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. Department of Geography, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China
  • Received:2016-06-23 Revised:2016-10-21 Online:2017-06-27 Published:2017-05-09
  • Contact: ZHANG Pingyu. E-mail:
  • Supported by:

    Under the auspices of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41571152, 41201160, 41601124, 41201159, 71541021), the Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. KSZD-EW-Z-021), and the Key Consulting Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. Y02015005)


This paper develops a conceptual model and an indicator system for measuring economic resilience of resource-based cities based on the theory of evolutionary resilience and the related concepts of persistence, adaptation, and transformation. Nineteen resource-based cities in Northeast China were analyzed using the indicator system. The results showed that Liaoning and Jilin provinces had higher economic resilience than Heilongjiang Province. Panjin, Benxi, and Anshan in Liaoning Province were the top three cities, while Shuangyashan and other coal-based cities in Heilongjiang Province ranked last. Metals- and petroleum-based cities had significantly higher resilience than coal-based cities. The differences in persistence, adaptability, transformation, and resilience among resource-based cities decreased since the introduction of the Northeast Revitalization Strategy in 2003. Forestry-based cities improved the most in terms of resilience, followed by metals-based and multiple-resource cities; however, resilience dropped for coal-based cities, and petroleum-based cities falling the most. The findings illustrate the importance and the way to develop a differentiated approach to improve resilience among resource-based cities.

Key words: resource-based cities, economic resilience, Northeast China