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Sustainability 2015, 7(3), 3244-3268; doi:10.3390/su7033244

Using Urban-Carrying Capacity as a Benchmark for Sustainable Urban Development: An Empirical Study of Beijing

School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Hum, Hong Kong
Institute of Population Research, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Nanjing 210023, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Weidong Huang
Received: 15 November 2014 / Revised: 24 February 2015 / Accepted: 27 February 2015 / Published: 17 March 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2006 KB, uploaded 17 March 2015]   |  


Sustainable urban development has been receiving growing concerns from both city managers and urban residents across the world. As a yardstick of sustainability, urban carrying capacity (UCC) is an important conceptual underpinning that guides local governments in promoting sustainable urban development. However, existing studies still lack consensus not only on the theoretical aspects, but also on the methodological issues for UCC monitoring and evaluation. A knowledge gap exists, which this paper fills. This study aims to develop a practical UCC assessment framework to guide urban development towards achieving sustainability. The quantitative-based assessment framework provides a set of measurable indicators and benchmarks for city managers to conduct routine monitoring on progress toward urban sustainability, and helps identify deficient areas, which urgently need resource allocation to improve UCC. Focusing on a case study of Beijing, this study demonstrates that the framework is useful in promoting urban sustainability. This framework provides rich implications for other city prototypes in China as the nation marches into the next phase of development. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable urban development; urban carrying capacity (UCC); assessment framework; Beijing sustainable urban development; urban carrying capacity (UCC); assessment framework; Beijing

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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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Wei, Y.; Huang, C.; Lam, P.T.I.; Sha, Y.; Feng, Y. Using Urban-Carrying Capacity as a Benchmark for Sustainable Urban Development: An Empirical Study of Beijing. Sustainability 2015, 7, 3244-3268.

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