JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2022, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (6): 1425-1439.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20220604

• Theories and Methods of High-quality Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The new logic and paradigm of space emergence in regional integration: Inspiration for the complex space governance of the Yangtze River Delta

HUANG Jian-feng1,2(), CHEN Ming-xing3,4, LU Lin2()   

  1. 1. School of Economics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
    2. School of Geography and Tourism, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241002, Anhui, China
    3. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    4. College of Resource and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2021-07-05 Revised:2021-11-14 Online:2022-06-28 Published:2022-08-28
  • Contact: LU Lin;


The implementation of major regional development strategies such as the integrated regional development in the Yangtze River Delta requires the support of the theoretical research on the systematicness and complexity of regional space. Complexity science and its emergence thinking are of great value to regional integration research, but it is difficult for the existing research to meet the needs of practical development and theoretical innovation. By using the methods of literature research, logical derivation, induction and summary and so on, based on the review of complexity research theory in geospatial space field, guided by complex adaptive system theory and from the perspective of complex system emergence, this paper explores the space-emergence logic and research paradigm of space evolution of regional integration and discusses the complex space governance of integrated regional development in the Yangtze River Delta following the clue of "theoretical logic-research paradigm-practice enlightenment". The results show that: (1) The regional integration can be conceptualized as a complex adaptive system, which is characterized by space complexity such as heterogeneous components, adaptive interaction, multi-scale nesting, nonlinear dynamics and self-organizing evolution with the essential attribute of space emergence. (2) The exploration of new space-emergence logic gives birth to the exploration of new research paradigm of integrated regional space, that is, to regard space emergence as the new logic and new thinking of integrated regional space research, to study space emergence mechanism with the horizontal-vertical-diachronical framework, to reveal space emergence and evolution dynamics by structure-process coupling path, and to pay attention to the integration of multiple data and methods. (3) Taking comprehensive governance as the general guidelines, we should conduct concrete strategies, from the aspects of governance subject, object, structure, tool and efficiency, to improve the spatial governance level on the target of the high-quality integrated development in the Yangtze River Delta.

Key words: regional integration, space emergence, space evolution, space governance, complexity science, Yangtze River Delta