Polycentric urban development and economic productivity in China: A multiscalar analysis

Dr. Mingshu Wang, University of Twente

‘Urban polycentricity’ has become both a conceptual framework capturing emerging empirical realities and a spatial planning vision adopted in cities across Europe, USA, and, recently, also China. Despite the blossoming academic literature on polycentricity, only limited attempts have been made to explore whether and how polycentric urban development at different spatial scales affects the urban economy. Therefore, this study empirically analyzes whether and how urban polycentricity at different spatial scales in China is associated with urban economic performance. To this end, it extends the Cobb–Douglas production function and include measures of both inter-urban and intra-urban polycentricity to explain differences in labor productivity. The analysis links intra-urban monocentricity and inter-urban polycentricity with higher levels of labor productivity. In addition, the analysis points to an agglomeration spillover effect, as well as a potential weak positive interaction effect between intra- and inter-urban polycentricity. The paper concludes with policy implications for China’s spatial development.

About the speaker

Dr. Mingshu Wang is a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Geodata Science at the Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, the Netherlands. He earned his BS from Nanjing University (China), MSc, and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia (USA). His research focuses on developing and applying GIScience methods and big data analytics for sustainable urban systems. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed research articles, and he has received research grants from the Dutch Research Council (NWO), Province of Overijssel, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Microsoft Azure. He won the Regional Science Association International (RSAI) Dissertation Award (2019), American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) Robert Colwell Memorial Fellowship (2018), and Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad (2018). At UT, he is the coordinator of GIS Minor and Academic Skills courses and also lectures MSc-level courses of Big Geodata Processing and Integrated Geospatial Workflow. Currently, he supervises one Ph.D. student and three MSc students. He has been the Secretary of the IoTs and Spatial Decision Support Working Group of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) since 2015.

Venue: 0.18

Date: 13 February 2020

Time: 12:00 - 13:00