An in-depth analysis of the spatial distribution characteristics and overall pattern of industrial heritage sites in China provides not only a comprehensive understanding of the current status of industrial heritage but also a reference for its protection and ongoing utilization. A total of 170 industrial heritage sites that were included in the List of National Industrial Heritage of China were selected as the research objects. Their spatial structure characteristics were quantitatively analyzed based on a kernel density analysis of ArcGIS and imbalance and Gini coefficient index of function calculations. The results show that the distribution of industrial heritage sites in China presents a strong aggregation trend and a distribution pattern of four cores, six centers, and multiple scattered points. The distribution of industrial heritage sites in 34 administrative regions is extremely imbalanced. A total of 170 industrial heritage sites are distributed across 27 administrative regions; 52.35% are concentrated in the East and Southwest divisions. According to the index definitions, this research analyzed their influencing factors from perspectives of the natural and social environments. The results show that the industrial heritage sites in China are mainly distributed in traditional agricultural and commercial areas with rich natural or water transport resources. The current study of major historical events in modern China and the growth curve of industrial heritage concludes that China's industry has experienced five stages of development: Ancient, Beginning, Accelerated Development, Climax, and Slowdown. The geographical divisions and distribution of categories show colonial and socialist characteristics.
Keywords: Industrial heritage; Influencing factor; Kernel density; List of national industrial heritage; Mathematical calculation; Spatial distribution characteristics.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.