SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (3): 454-462.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2021.03.010

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The Spatial Structure and Evolution of Building Height in Guangzhou’s Main Urban Area from 1835 to 2017

Sun Wu(), Ouyang Ruikang(), Chen Xiang, Sun Jing, Zhu Linlin, Cui Fengyan, Ren Yanni   

  1. School of Geographical Sciences, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, Guangdong, China
  • Received:2020-02-07 Online:2021-03-25 Published:2021-05-11
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China (41771001), Guangzhou Science and Technology Project (201704020136)


According to different data sources and different technical routes, the land types and building heights of Guangzhou’s main urban areas in the large scale in the six periods of 1835-2017 were interpreted and restored. Focusing on the spatial differentiation of urban heights, the migration of height centers of gravity, and the rise of urban heights, the evolution of urban heights in Guangzhou’s main urban areas since 1835 was analyzed. Research shows that: 1) 1835-1907 belonged to the siege structure under the leadership of the king. The height is between 4 and 5 m, with little difference between the center and the periphery. The evolution of urban heights since 1928 has the characteristics of a modern city. 2) Although the scope of the main urban area, the geometric center, and the CBD center of each era have undergone major migrations, the height of the city has gradually decreased from 1928 to 2017, and can continue to strengthen. 3) In 1990, there was a difference in the building height of the land use type, and the land use types tended to be diversified. The difference in height between the function types increased the combination type of urban buildings. 4) During the eastward migration along the north bank of the Pearl River, the height of the center of gravity was small and the plane expanded prominently in 1928-1960; However, the subsequent 1990-2017 eras showed strong vertical uplift. The building enters the stage of modern high-rise buildings. The structure and evolution of Guangzhou’s urban building heights depend on the combined effects of the geographical pattern, urban planning, and market forces of the ‘near the mountain and by the river’ plain cities.

Key words: building height, functional type, height axis, height center of gravity, circle layer, Guangzhou

CLC Number: 

  • K928.6