SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (4): 578-586.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2019.04.007

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Community Structure and Proximity Mechanism of City Clusters in Middle Reach of the Yangtze River: Based on Producer Service Firms’ Network

Peng Gao1,2(), Dan He1,2(), Yuemin Ning1, Fan Zhang1   

  1. 1. The Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2. School of Urban & Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China;
  • Received:2018-03-08 Revised:2018-06-10 Online:2019-04-10 Published:2019-04-10
  • Supported by:
    General Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (41471138), China Scholarship Council Program (201706145003), Key Project of Key Research Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of China Education Ministry (17JJD790007), Young Scientists Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (41701181)


Community structure, as an emerging research field of network science, is very critical for us to cognize the spatial structure of city clusters more deeply. So far, however, previous work has failed to examine the spatial structure of the urban system in terms of its community structure systematically. To rectify this situation and provide new research approach, this article uses community detection algorithm to reveal the evolving features of community structure of city clusters in middle reach of the Yangtze River(MRYR) at county scale, based on 2000, 2007 and 2014 producer services firms’ database of city clusters in MRYR. Furthermore, this article introduces the Quadratic Assignment Procedure(QAP) to uncover the proximity mechanism and other influencing factors. The main conclusions are as follows: According to the results of network modularity and PageRank, city clusters in MRYR could be divided into three city communities, including Wuhan community, Changsha community and Nanchang community, and community structure has significant heterogeneity, which reflects in the inequality of both intra and inter communities. At city clusters’ level, geographical proximity, cultural proximity and administrative proximity have dramatic effects on community structure of city clusters in MRYR, but provincial administrative proximity causes dominant effects. Additionally, progress in communications technology and financial resources of the clustering and diffusion spur on connections intra and inter communities of city clusters in MRYR. Once inside communities’ level, geographical proximity plays a key role in the process of cities’ interacting within city community. Moreover, some influencing factors have different effects on different city communities, which provides us some beneficial policy enlightenments.

Key words: community structure, proximity mechanism, producer services, community detection, city clusters in middle reach of the Yangtze River

CLC Number: 

  • F291