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Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9371-9386;

The Outward Extension of an Ecological Footprint in City Expansion: The Case of Beijing

Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Department of Information Engineering, Zhejiang Agricultural and Forestry University, Lin'an 311300, China
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology, Beijing 102617, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 August 2014 / Revised: 5 December 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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A biologically productive area was used in the ecological footprint method to measure the demand and impact of human activities on the natural capital, and further, to judge whether the impact is within the scope of the regional bio-capacity. In this presentation, an indicator “ecological footprint distance (Def)” is proposed. The results indicated that the proposed indicator Def could identify the outward extension of a city’s ecological footprint with the city’s rapid expansion. From 2008 to 2012, the proportion of imported bio-capacity increased approximately from 48% to 64%, which implied that the ecological impact of Beijing had expanded year by year. The Def of Beijing increased from 567 km in 2008 to 677 km in 2012, with an average annual increase of about 25 km. From the perspective of seasonal change, Beijing’s ecological footprint distance in winter and spring was much higher than in summer and fall. The main features of provincial-spatial distribution of Beijing’s Def were as follows: grain and oil and meat and eggs were mainly supplied by Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei and Inner Mongolia; yet vegetable and fruit were mainly supplied by Hainan, Guangdong, Hebei and Shandong. Measures should be taken to decentralize the sources of imported bio-capacity, so as to ensure a sustainable development in Metropolitan cities. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem services; bio-capacity; ecological footprint distance; urbanization; sustainable development ecosystem services; bio-capacity; ecological footprint distance; urbanization; sustainable development

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Xie, G.; Chen, W.; Cao, S.; Lu, C.; Xiao, Y.; Zhang, C.; Li, N.; Wang, S. The Outward Extension of an Ecological Footprint in City Expansion: The Case of Beijing. Sustainability 2014, 6, 9371-9386.

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