SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2020, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (10): 1627-1635.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2020.10.006

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Vertical Mobility of City: Reconstruction of Human-Environment System in Guangzhou’s Reterritorialization

Chen Haoran(), An Ning, Zhu Hong*()   

  1. School of Geography and Remote Sensing/Research Centre for Human Geography and Urban Development in Southern China, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, Guangdong, China
    Guangdong Provincial Centre for Urban and Migration Studies, Guangzhou 510006, Guangdong, China
  • Received:2019-12-13 Online:2020-10-10 Published:2020-12-05
  • Contact: Zhu Hong;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China (41630635, 41701149, 41971183, 41901170), Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong (2018B030312004)


Since the end of the 20th century, mobility has become a key issue in Geography, which reshapes the relationship between human and environment. However, the study of mobility ignores the place itself: the enclave can be regarded as the ‘horizontal mobility’ of the suzerain, and the process of cities’ reterritorialization can be regarded as ‘vertical mobility’. Since the 1980s, China begun to adjust administrative divisions by a county-to-district reform, which reshaping the original urban administrative structure. County-to-district reform is a typical vertical mobility of city. In that reform, the identity politics of local residents has altered a whole heap, and their relationship between county and new city has also changed. This article takes Guangzhou as a study case to learn the relationship between local residents and territory in the county-to-district reform, and then explores the alterations in human-environment system within the mobility theory. The study found that local residents’ identity politics has changed from a majority community in the original territory to a minority community in the new territory. In addition, this alteration has led to a formation of an exclusionary strategy for local residents and a residential space of resistance in the new territory, which reconstructed the relationship among local residents, original territory and new territory. The research on the process of cities’ reterritorialization is a supplement to the exploration of mobility in geography, which is conducive to a deeper understanding of the impact and significance of mobility from a geographical perspective.

Key words: mobility, human-environment system, reterritorialization, county-to-district reform, Guangzhou

CLC Number: 

  • K901.4