The Shaping of Daqing: Borderless Interactions between Oil and Urban Areas

S.J. Hauser, Penglin Zhu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Since the development of the oil industry in the 1860s, petroleum products became increasingly important in economies and shaped the urban form. The impact of oil exploration, exploitation, and transformation led to the creation of districts and cities entirely dedicated to the oil industry. This dynamic relationship between economic activity and urbanization was presented in the shaping of cities and their borders. Although important, the notion of borders and its consequences on the uses of land as well as on the life of inhabitants are often ignored. This paper first conceptualizes the term borders in understanding the interlinkages between oil and other areas closely related, either geographically or for the functioning of the oil industry; it then illustrates the intertwined borders of all these spaces from the contemporary example of the city of Daqing, in Northeast China. The paper answers the question of how past borders designed during the development of Daqing in the 1960s are impacting future planning strategies and the health of local inhabitants? By mapping the current land-use of the city, this paper elaborates on the need to consider borders beyond two-dimensional perspectives by revealing how spatial planning practices in oil-dependent cities can be an environmental issue today and in the future. The objective is to demonstrate the influence of past planning decisions linked to industrial activities on contemporary urban spaces.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1120
Number of pages17
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • borders
  • Daqing
  • land use
  • oil industry
  • pollution
  • spatial planning


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