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Does China’s increasing coupling of ‘urban population’ and ‘urban area’ growth indicators reflect a growing social and economic sustainability?

Zhao, J; Xiao, Y; Sun, S; Sang, W; Axmacher, JC; (2022) Does China’s increasing coupling of ‘urban population’ and ‘urban area’ growth indicators reflect a growing social and economic sustainability? Journal of Environmental Management , 301 , Article 113932. 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113932.

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Abstract

Over the last four decades, China has experienced rapid parallel economic development and urbanization, leading to internal mass -migrations of its people from increasingly marginalized rural areas to urban centers where job opportunities and wealth are now concentrated. We compare the relative temporal growth trends in population-related and land-(i.e., area-) related urbanization systems to evaluate China's urbanization in the context of the ‘New-Type’ Urbanization Program (2014–2020). Based on coupling coordination models, we observed that the two systems were overall slightly decoupled since spatial urban expansion commonly outgrew urban population growth, but the degree of coordination between the two parameters was increasing. Employing exploratory spatial data analysis, we revealed that a high degree of coupling coordination has spread from Eastern to Western provinces. Urban planning and land policies have contributed to an increasing urban vegetation cover and the control of excessive urban land expansions. While China's urbanization appears to have become increasingly sustainable due to the increasing degree of coupling coordination between its subsystems, ongoing urban expansions require strong oversight to limit the environmental impacts of the country's sprawling mega-cities.

Type: Article
Title: Does China’s increasing coupling of ‘urban population’ and ‘urban area’ growth indicators reflect a growing social and economic sustainability?
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113932
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113932
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: New-type’ urbanization, Coupling coordination degree, Urban planning, Land policies, Sustainability
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10136163
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