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Article

Spatial Analysis of Citizens’ Environmental Complaints in China: Implications in Environmental Monitoring and Governance

1
School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
2
School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
3
College of Geography and Environment, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9674; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189674
Received: 19 August 2021 / Revised: 9 September 2021 / Accepted: 10 September 2021 / Published: 14 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
Citizen environmental complaints play a key role in China’s current environmental monitoring network and environmental governance system. Based on 5796 cases of environmental complaints lodged by citizens via hotline and the internet to the MEP of China, we examined the spatial characteristics and influencing factors of citizen complaints for the period of 2013–2017 using spatial analysis methods and spatial econometric models. The roles of citizen complaints in the two systems were then reevaluated. The results show that, among all cases, 75.88% of cases were identified as verified complaints, while nearly a 25% noisy rate directed large amounts of inspection resources to be utilized in response to nonverified cases. Air pollution received the most attention by citizens in China, accounting for 67.22% of total cases. The hotspots of citizen complaints were mostly distributed in the three major national urban agglomerations in China. We found that industrial wastewater and SO2 were positively associated with the likelihood of citizens filing complaints, while the effect of industrial soot/dust emission was insignificant. Citizen complaints might be triggered by certain, but not all, forms of pollutants, even though highly visible particulate pollutants did not necessarily induce corresponding complaints. Moreover, the negative relationship between citizen complaints and per capita GDP revealed the unbalanced geographical pattern between economical development and environmental quality. The proliferation of the internet greatly facilitated citizens lodging complaints through various ways. The synergy mechanism between citizen environmental complaints and other parts in China’s environmental monitoring and governance system should be established in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizen environmental complaints; hotline and internet; spatial characteristics; influencing factors; spatial regression models; China citizen environmental complaints; hotline and internet; spatial characteristics; influencing factors; spatial regression models; China
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ji, X.; Tong, D.; Cheng, L.; Chuai, X.; Mao, X.; Liu, B.; Huang, X. Spatial Analysis of Citizens’ Environmental Complaints in China: Implications in Environmental Monitoring and Governance. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9674. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189674

AMA Style

Ji X, Tong D, Cheng L, Chuai X, Mao X, Liu B, Huang X. Spatial Analysis of Citizens’ Environmental Complaints in China: Implications in Environmental Monitoring and Governance. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(18):9674. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189674

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ji, Xuepeng, Daoqin Tong, Lisha Cheng, Xiaowei Chuai, Xiyan Mao, Binglin Liu, and Xianjin Huang. 2021. "Spatial Analysis of Citizens’ Environmental Complaints in China: Implications in Environmental Monitoring and Governance" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 18: 9674. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189674

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