In the past couple of post–reform decades of rapid urban growth of Chinese cities, Beijing experienced dramatic spatial and socio–economic transformation. This study aims to examine the evolution of Beijing's social–spatial structure in the transforming process over the past 20 years. We first collect and process Beijing's socio–demographic variables at the level of sub–district in three years between 1990 and 2009. Then a two–step spatial clustering approach is taken for spatial data mining of the spatial structures of social areas in the three time periods. Results are visualised in GIS. Finally, the interpretation of the analysis result is provided, followed by a discussion of policy implications for the development of a socially sustainable municipality.
Keywords: social–spatial structure, Beijing, China, spatial–temporal, cluster analysis, urban growth, sustainability, socio–demographic variables, spatial clustering, spatial data mining, GIS, geographic information systems