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Examining the Density and Diversity of Human Activity in the Built Environment: The Case of the Pearl River Delta, China

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Department of Urban Planning & State Laboratory of Subtropical Building Science, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China
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Department of Urban Planning, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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Erasmus School of Law & Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Postbus 1738, 3000 DR, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Curtin University, Perth, WA 6907, Australia
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Department of Computing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon 999077, Hong Kong, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3700; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093700
Received: 2 March 2020 / Revised: 17 April 2020 / Accepted: 27 April 2020 / Published: 3 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Geography and Sustainability)
Rapid urbanization in China has been accompanied by spatial inefficiency in patterns of human activity, of which ‘ghost towns’ are the most visible result. In this study, we measure the density and diversity of human activity in the built environment and relate this to various explanatory factors. Using the Pearl River Delta (PRD) as an empirical case, our research demonstrates the distribution of human activity by multi-source data and then explores its dynamics within these areas. This empirical study is comprised of two parts. The first part explores location information regarding human activity in urbanized areas and shows density and diversity. Regression models are applied to explore how density and diversity are affected by urban scale, morphology and by a city’s administrative level. Results indicate that: 1) cities with smaller populations are more likely to be faced with lower density and diversity, but they derive greater marginal benefits from improving land use efficiency; 2) the compactness of the layout of urban land, an index reflecting the plane shapes of the built environment, is highly correlated with density and diversity in built-up areas; and 3) the administrative importance of a city has a significant and positive impact on the density of human activity, but no obvious influence on its diversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: human activity; construction land; density; diversity; China human activity; construction land; density; diversity; China
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhao, M.; Xu, G.; de Jong, M.; Li, X.; Zhang, P. Examining the Density and Diversity of Human Activity in the Built Environment: The Case of the Pearl River Delta, China. Sustainability 2020, 12, 3700. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093700

AMA Style

Zhao M, Xu G, de Jong M, Li X, Zhang P. Examining the Density and Diversity of Human Activity in the Built Environment: The Case of the Pearl River Delta, China. Sustainability. 2020; 12(9):3700. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093700

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhao, Miaoxi, Gaofeng Xu, Martin de Jong, Xinjian Li, and Pingcheng Zhang. 2020. "Examining the Density and Diversity of Human Activity in the Built Environment: The Case of the Pearl River Delta, China" Sustainability 12, no. 9: 3700. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093700

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