A Review of the Studies on the Development of China’s Resource-Based Cities



The development path of resource-based cities is different from that of any other cities, for the particularity of natural endowment determines industries’ various reliance on resources. After a close look at the literature relevant to the studies on the development path of resource-based cities both at home and abroad, this article has obtained the following major findings. First of all, some Chinese researchers have engaged in the study on the sustainable development of resource-based cities. This line of research mainly focuses on society, economy, resources and environment and chooses related indexes as the evaluative standards, while regardless of the unique attribute of the resource-based cities. The second finding is that many studies on the development of resource-based cities centered on the macro development of the cities, but paid little heed to the mechanism concerning the transformation of the resource-based cities. The next finding is with regard to the research methods. Generally speaking, descriptive and qualitative research methods dominated the whole body of literature in this field, while quantitative studies could be hardly seen. What has also been found is that research in this domain is of a uni-dimensional flavor, centering mainly on the economic factors and ignoring the social and ecological perspectives. In the last part of this article, we propose that future studies should put more emphasis on the sustainable development of the resource-based cities and adopt a wide range of research methods such as a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods, ecology-oriented methods, comprehensive evaluation method of index system and the theory of dissipative structure, with an aim to enrich and diversify the study methods in this line of research and to evaluate and guide the sustainable development of the resource-based cities in a more systematic manner.


Transformation and development; Resource-exhausted cities; Sustainability

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/5999


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