Urban population potential is a good measure of urban spatial interactions. However, previous studies often assigned population data to the administrative point of the government or the centroid of the region, such as the county, ward or village. In these cases, two problems exist: (1) the zone centroid problem and (2) the scale problem. To better deal with these problems, we proposed a novel method for simulating the urban population potential based on urban patches using Jiangsu Province as the study area. This study conducted research on a classification scheme based on area for urban patches and developed an urban population potential model on the basis of a potential model. The spatial simulation of the urban population potential at various urban scales and the comprehensive urban population potential of Jiangsu were determined. The spatial pattern is "southern Jiangsu high and north-central Jiangsu low", which is consistent with the "pole-axis" spatial system. This study also compared the simulations of the new method and a traditional method. Results revealed that the method based on urban patches was superior in simulating real spatial patterns of the urban population potential. Further improvements should focus on actual conditions, such as passable expressway entrances and exits and railway stations, and high-speed railway data should be employed when simulating the urban population potential across provinces and greater China.
Dong, N., Yang, X., Cai, H., & Wang, L. (2015). A novel method for simulating urban population potential based on urban patches: A case study in Jiangsu Province, China. Sustainability (Switzerland), 7(4), 3984–4003. https://doi.org/10.3390/su7043984