Chinese Geographical Science

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 167–182 | Cite as

Implications for Cultural Landscape in a Chinese Context: Geo-analysis of Spatial Distribution of Historic Sites

  • Fang Wang
  • Wen Mao
  • Ying Dong
  • Xiaohua Zhu


The protection of historic sites, especially their relationship with urban development, has become a worldwide issue, both in developed and developing countries. In the context of rapid urbanization in China, the realistic compatibility between urban construction and the protection of historic sites is always a key research topic. In this study, first, to comprehend their spatial distribution patterns, 828 historic sites throughout the country are selected based on certain criteria. Then, we conduct quantitative research using GIS software, adopting indicators that include Nearest Neighbor Index, Gini Coefficient, and Geographic Concentration Index to analyze the spatial characteristics of historic sites on the three levels of city, province and nation. The results indicate that the spatial distribution of the different types of historic sites is an agglomeration on the nationwide scale, most of which is located in the regions of the Pearl (Zhujiang) River Delta, Yangtze (Changjiang) River Delta and Beijing-Tianjin Region. Because the majority of historic sites are located within approximately 10 km of the downtown area, a certain pattern has emerged, showing that the larger cities own more historic areas, which are in a more incomplete state of preservation, indicating the fragmentation of heritage spaces. The formation mechanism of the historic sites’ distribution pattern is based on the conditions of the cities/towns as well as the bid-rent theory.


historic site cultural landscape spatial distribution Geo-analysis ancient city/town past heritage block recent industrial heritage district 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agricultural Ecology, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sino-German Joint Laboratory on Urbanization and Locality Research (UAL), College of Architecture and Landscape ArchitecturePeking UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, Ministry of EducationPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.College of Urban and Environmental SciencesPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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