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Regional Sustainability

Abstract

The Guanzhong Plain urban agglomeration is a response to the Belt and Road Initiative in Northwest China that aims to promote regional development. The direct impact of high-speed railway construction is to shorten the spatial-temporal distance among regions, improve the accessibility of regional transportation, and promote socioeconomic linkages. From the perspective of accessibility, this study analyzes the impact of high-speed railway construction on the spatial patterns and county-level economic relationships of the Guanzhong Plain urban agglomeration. The results show that the construction of high-speed railway significantly improves regional accessibility, increases the potential for urban economic development, and gradually narrows the gaps in economic potential among cities. The construction of high-speed railway has increased the intensity of external economic relations among numerous counties in the Guanzhong Plain urban agglomeration, and most of the areas with increased connections are located in the direction of routes extension. The development of the internal economic network of the Guanzhong Plain urban agglomeration is unbalanced, and a complex network is gradually emerging with a few large cities at the core, but the construction of high-speed railway is changing the structure of the economic network. In general, a certain degree of intrinsic coupling exists between regional accessibility change and the evolution of economic relations caused by high-speed railway, reflecting the requirements of the regional overall development strategy.

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