International Review for Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development
Online ISSN : 2187-3666
ISSN-L : 2187-3666
Section A: Planning Strategies and Design Concepts
Triangle Law or Power Law?
City Size Distribution in Sub-national Levelled Administrative Areas in China
Wenyue LiYue Zhang
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2018 Volume 6 Issue 3 Pages 203-215


Studies have shown that the city size distribution is in line with the power law distribution. By testing the city size distribution of cities in certain administrative levels in sub-national administrative areas in China, it was found that compared with power law distribution, the triangle law distribution put forward can better fit the city size distribution characteristics. The triangle law means the city size distribution structure is shaped like the city administrative division structure. That is, cities of the highest administrative level have far bigger size than other cities, and the city size distribution law of cities in the next administrative level is in accordance with the normal distribution. The triangle law hypothesis is put forward by the analysis of city size growth logic in China, and the institutional influence was considered as the main influencing factor. The results show that the city administrative system has probably shed light on the city size distribution. Further analysis shows the triangle law is more applicable in areas with higher population and fewer next levelled cities. Lastly, by new parameters extracted from the triangle law, the city size distribution characteristics of different regions in China are analysed.

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© 2018 SPSD Press.
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