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New Insight on the Trajectories, Patterns and Drivers of China's Urban and Industrial Land Expansions

Dec 02, 2015     Email"> PrintText Size

To a certain extent, urbanization and industrialization affects ecosystem services and environmental quality. Understanding the spatiotemporal patterns and driving forces of urban and industrial land expansions at the national scale is important to inform land use planning and sustainable development.

Dr. KUANG Wenhui etc., a team of researchers hosted from Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, explained and analyzed the spatiotemporal trajectories and patterns of the national urban and industrial land expansions from 1990 to 2010 and found the major driving forces.

They developed a national land use/cover database over the past decade, analyzed and identified the trajectories, spatiotemporal patterns, and driving forces in the two intertwining process of urbanization and industrialization at a five-year interval from 1990 to 2010, employing the China Land Use/Cover Dataset (CLUD).

With the high resolution CLUD data, the expansion patterns of urban and industrial lands were investigated in China from1990 to 2010. The nation’s urban and industrial land areas increased from 4.85×104 km2 in 1990 to 9.08×104 km2 in 2010, said Dr. KUANG, lead author.

“We found that the expansion rates of urban and industrial lands accelerated in the latter half of the study period (2000–2010) and that industrial land expanded more rapidly than urban land.”

The industrial lands experienced an accelerated expansion in the 2000s than in the 1990s due to increasing infrastructure construction. Compared to those in the 1990s, the expansion rates of urban land and industrial land in the 2000s were respectively 2.15 and 5.79 times higher. The expansion rates varied across regions, revealing a distinctive spatial pattern with coastal regions being the fastest and the northeastern the slowest.”

The researchers found the differences in the urban and industrial land expansion are mainly a result of national policy dynamics. National development strategies and regional land-use policies had prominent impacts on land expansions. The regional variations can be explained by the socioeconomic factors as well as the local and regional land-use policies.

A CLUD-based time-series analysis of the expansion of urban and industrial lands could also be useful for being employed to inform environmental planners and policymakers by identifying hotspots for the effects of urbanization and industrialization on ecological and environmental processes, such as the carbon cycle and air pollution.

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41371408), and the National Key Technology R&D Program (2012BAJ15B02).

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(Editor: CHEN Na)

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