Resources Science ›› 2021, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (1): 94-103.doi: 10.18402/resci.2021.01.08

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Impact of ecological innovation on the economic transformation of resource-based cities

ZENG Gang1,2,3(), LU Linyi1,2,3, HE Jinliao1,3()   

  1. 1. The Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2. School of Urban & Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
    3. The Institute of Urban Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2020-02-14 Online:2021-01-25 Published:2021-03-25
  • Contact: HE Jinliao

Abstract:

The impact of technological innovation on urban economic transformation has received great attention, but few existing studies have focused on the impact of ecological innovation on the economic transformation of resource-based cities. This study used data of 115 resource-based prefecture-level cities in China from 2009 to 2017 to test the impact of ecological innovation on resource-based cities, including the upgrading of industrial structure and industrial green efficiency. It was found that the economic transformation of China’s resource-based cities is still at an early stage. Although the industrial green efficiency of resource-based cities has improved, the upward trend of the industrial structure upgrading was very weak. Resource-based cities are spatially differentiated in their economic transformation capabilities. The cities with high performance are concentrated in Shaanxi Province, Shanxi Province, southern Inner Mongolia, and western Shandong Province. The empirical results show that ecological innovation has a significant positive effect on improving the level of industrial structure upgrading in resource-based cities, and this effect is more pronounced in mature and regenerative cities. But the impact of ecological innovation on improving industrial green efficiency is not significant. We suggest that innovation policies need to be tailored according to the characteristics of different cities.

Key words: ecological innovation, resource-based city, industrial structure, industrial green efficiency, urban transformation