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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 2818-2833; doi:10.3390/ijerph110302818
Article

Spatial Point Pattern Analysis of Human Settlements and Geographical Associations in Eastern Coastal China — A Case Study

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Received: 5 December 2013; in revised form: 19 February 2014 / Accepted: 20 February 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014
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Abstract: Understanding the spatial point pattern of human settlements and their geographical associations are important for understanding the drivers of land use and land cover change and the relationship between environmental and ecological processes on one hand and cultures and lifestyles on the other. In this study, a Geographic Information System (GIS) approach, Ripley’s K function and Monte Carlo simulation were used to investigate human settlement point patterns. Remotely sensed tools and regression models were employed to identify the effects of geographical determinants on settlement locations in the Wen-Tai region of eastern coastal China. Results indicated that human settlements displayed regular-random-cluster patterns from small to big scale. Most settlements located on the coastal plain presented either regular or random patterns, while those in hilly areas exhibited a clustered pattern. Moreover, clustered settlements were preferentially located at higher elevations with steeper slopes and south facing aspects than random or regular settlements. Regression showed that influences of topographic factors (elevation, slope and aspect) on settlement locations were stronger across hilly regions. This study demonstrated a new approach to analyzing the spatial patterns of human settlements from a wide geographical prospective. We argue that the spatial point patterns of settlements, in addition to the characteristics of human settlements, such as area, density and shape, should be taken into consideration in the future, and land planners and decision makers should pay more attention to city planning and management. Conceptual and methodological bridges linking settlement patterns to regional and site-specific geographical characteristics will be a key to human settlement studies and planning.
Keywords: Ripley’s K function; point pattern analysis; human settlements; geographical associations; Geographic Information Systems; southeastern coastal China Ripley’s K function; point pattern analysis; human settlements; geographical associations; Geographic Information Systems; southeastern coastal China
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, Z.; Xiao, R.; Shortridge, A.; Wu, J. Spatial Point Pattern Analysis of Human Settlements and Geographical Associations in Eastern Coastal China — A Case Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 2818-2833.

AMA Style

Zhang Z, Xiao R, Shortridge A, Wu J. Spatial Point Pattern Analysis of Human Settlements and Geographical Associations in Eastern Coastal China — A Case Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(3):2818-2833.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Zhonghao; Xiao, Rui; Shortridge, Ashton; Wu, Jiaping. 2014. "Spatial Point Pattern Analysis of Human Settlements and Geographical Associations in Eastern Coastal China — A Case Study." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 3: 2818-2833.



Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert