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Sustainability 2014, 6(7), 4042-4058; doi:10.3390/su6074042

Spatiotemporal Patterns of Urbanization in a Developed Region of Eastern Coastal China

1
Institution of Remote Sensing and Information System Application, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
2
School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences and School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
3
Zhejiang Environmental Monitoring Center, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310015, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 9 June 2014 / Accepted: 16 June 2014 / Published: 26 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Abstract

This study presents a practical methodology to monitor the spatiotemporal characteristics of urban expansion in response to rapid urbanization at the provincial scale by integrating remote sensing, urban built-up area boundaries, spatial metrics and spatial regression. Sixty-seven cities were investigated to examine the differences of urbanization intensity, urbanization patterns and urban land use efficiency in conjunction with the identification of socio-economic indicators and planning strategies. Planning proposals to allocate the urbanization intensity among different-sized cities by considering sustainable urban development were also explored. The results showed that the urban area of Zhejiang Province expanded from 31,380 ha in 1980 to 415,184 ha in 2010, indicating that the area of the urban region expanded to more than 13-times the initial urban area. The urban built-up area boundaries became more complex and irregular in shape as the urban area expanded throughout the entire study period. Rapid urban population growth and economic development were identified as significant in stimulating the urban expansion process. However, different-sized cities exhibited marked differences in urban development. Small cities experienced the rapidest urbanization before 2000. Large cities, which are estimated to have the highest urban land use efficiency, had the most dramatic sprawl in urban area at the beginning of the 21st century. Promoting the development of large cities to mega-cities is recommended in Zhejiang Province to ensure sustainable urban development with consideration of land resource preservation. View Full-Text
Keywords: urbanization; urban built-up area boundaries; spatial pattern; land use efficiency; different-sized cities urbanization; urban built-up area boundaries; spatial pattern; land use efficiency; different-sized cities
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, J.; Deng, J.; Wang, K.; Li, J.; Huang, T.; Lin, Y.; Yu, H. Spatiotemporal Patterns of Urbanization in a Developed Region of Eastern Coastal China. Sustainability 2014, 6, 4042-4058.

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