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Open AccessArticle

Determinants of Urban Expansion and Spatial Heterogeneity in China

Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Urbanization and Geo-simulation, School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, No. 135, Xingang Xi Road, Guangzhou 510275, China
School of Public Administration, Guangdong University of Finance and Economics, No.21 Luntou Road, Guangzhou 510320, China
The Tourism College, Xinjiang University, No.1230 Yan’an Road, Urumchi 830001, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3706;
Received: 2 September 2019 / Revised: 29 September 2019 / Accepted: 30 September 2019 / Published: 1 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatio-Temporal Environmental Monitoring and Social Sensing)
China is the world’s largest developing country and its regions vary considerably. However, spatial heterogeneity in determinants of urban expansion in prefecture-level cities have not been identified. The present study explored the spatiotemporal characteristics of Chinese urban expansion and adopted a geographically weighted regression (GWR) method to determine this spatial heterogeneity. The results indicated that China experienced massive urban expansion during 1990–2015, with urban areas growing from 4.88 × 104 km2 to 1.06 × 105 km2, 46.42% of which was distributed in the eastern region. The results of the GWR model revealed the spatial heterogeneity in the determinants of urban expansion. Marketization was vital for urban expansion and had a stronger impact in the developed eastern and southern regions than in the less-developed northern and western regions. Globalization and decentralization bi-directionally affected urban expansion. The constraining effects of physical factors were limited and stronger in the developing northern region than in the developed southern region. Identifying the varying determinants of urban expansion is essential for policy-making in various regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban expansion; determinants; spatial heterogeneity; hot spot analysis; GWR; China urban expansion; determinants; spatial heterogeneity; hot spot analysis; GWR; China
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Li, M.; Zhang, G.; Liu, Y.; Cao, Y.; Zhou, C. Determinants of Urban Expansion and Spatial Heterogeneity in China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3706.

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