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Sustainability 2015, 7(2), 1576-1594; doi:10.3390/su7021576

GIS-Based Synthetic Measurement of Sustainable Development in Loess Plateau Ecologically Fragile Area—Case of Qingyang, China

College of Geography and Environment Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
Lanzhou Center of Literature and Information, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
Research Center for Circular Economy in Western China, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mario Tobias and Bing Xue
Received: 26 August 2014 / Revised: 7 January 2015 / Accepted: 28 January 2015 / Published: 2 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in China: Bridging Global Knowledge with Local Action)
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Synthetic measurement of regional sustainable development has been one of the key issues in the research field of sustainability. In this paper, Qingyang City located in the Loess Plateau ecologically fragile area of Northwest China is used for a case study, and the present study aims to investigate the degree of sustainable development by conducting temporal- and spatial-scale based analysis, with the assessment index system, assessment model and GIS approach well integrated. The results show that the development pattern of Qingyang generally fits the mode of unsustainable development, even in the presence of certain levels of spatial differences. The sustainable development state in ecologically fragile area of China’s Loess Plateau is non-optimistic, which is an uncoordinated status among subsystems of regional sustainable development. Although the level and tendency of regional sustainable development keeps increasing, such enhancement is abnormal. With the rapid deterioration of environmental and natural resources, their inhibitory effect on the economy and society would expand, eventually leading to the slow development rate or the recession of the entire system. The only solution is to change the traditional mode of economic development, to follow the guide of ecological economic conception so that the goal of achieving regional sustainable development strategies could be met ultimately. Meanwhile, the characteristics of different regions should be taken into account in order to achieve optimal spatial structure. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability assessment; centroid method; GIS approach; China sustainability assessment; centroid method; GIS approach; China

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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Lu, C.; Wang, C.; Zhu, W.; Li, H.; Li, Y.; Lu, C. GIS-Based Synthetic Measurement of Sustainable Development in Loess Plateau Ecologically Fragile Area—Case of Qingyang, China. Sustainability 2015, 7, 1576-1594.

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