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Inequality and collaboration in north China urban agglomeration: Evidence from embodied cultivated land in Jing-Jin-Ji’s interregional trade



Author: Shan Guo, Yang Wang, Yao Wang, Mengxun Wang, Ping He, Lei Feng

Abstract: An urban agglomeration is a highly connected city group, which is nested in complex trading networks. Ignoring the intercity connections and regional inequality may lead to the unsustainability of the urban agglomeration. The misuse and overuse of cultivated land resources are threatening environmental sustainability and causing global climate change. Facing the inequality and environment pressures in the urban agglomeration, the cultivated land resource reallocation within the complex urban agglomeration trading network should be systematically explored. This study analyzes the virtual cultivated land flows of the Jing-Jin-Ji (JJJ) region embodied in China's interregional trade network using a multiregional input-output model. Results show that the average virtual cultivated land intensity of the JJJ region is 1.59 ha/million yuan, which is below the national average. The JJJ region has 10.74 million ha of embodied cultivated land in consumption, accounting for 7.82% of the country's total amount. JJJ region is an import-oriented region and it receives virtual cultivated land from surrounding underdeveloped regions, such as Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia. Beijing and Tianjin are typical net importers of virtual cultivated land, while Zhangjiakou, Xingtai, Hengshui, Baoding, and Cangzhou are net exporters in the interior of the JJJ region. This study could provide a systematical perspective and data supporting system for formulating the sustainable cultivated land use policies and collaborated development policies in the JJJ region to mitigate regional inequality. Policy suggestions concerning the eco-compensation mechanism, collaborative innovation mode, and uniform management platform in JJJ are given.