Beijing is one of the most developed cities in China and has experienced a series of environmental problems. In accordance with the Major Function Zone planning, Beijing is divided into four zones in an attempt to coordinate development between urban areas and the eco-environment. Classic coupling model uses statistical data to evaluate the interactions of these two subsystems; however, it lacks the capability to express dynamic changes to land cover. Thus, we extracted land cover data from Landsat images and examined the urbanization and eco-environment level as well as the coupling coordination in Beijing and its functional zones. The main conclusions are as follows. (1) Between 2001 and 2011, both urbanization and the eco-environment level in Beijing and its functional zones grew steadily. Different zones coordinated together according to their own characteristics, and the overall coupling coordination of the city transformed from the “basically balanced” to the “superiorly balanced” stage of development. (2) After 2011, the condition of the eco-environment worsened in Beijing and in most of the function zones, while the coordination between increased urbanization and the worsened eco-environment may be a result of environmental lag. This study integrated land cover data into the coupling mode and fully utilized the advantages of spatiotemporal analysis and the coupling model. In other words, the spatiotemporal analysis explains the land cover changes visually over the research period, while the coupling model explores the interaction mechanisms between urbanization and the eco-environment. The land cover data enriches the coupling theory and provides a reference for evaluating the effectiveness of local development policy.
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