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Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1235;

Culture Sustainability: Culture Quotient (CQ) and Its Quantitative Empirical Application to Chinese Cities

Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
School of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
School of Economics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tan Yigitcanlar
Received: 1 November 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 26 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2132 KB, uploaded 26 November 2016]   |  


Culture sustainability is one of the indispensable components of sustainability. Culture has likely always been an important element for promoting urban and rural sustainable development. It is now playing an increasingly significant role in sparking and incubating innovation, which is becoming the main driver of economic growth and competitiveness. Unfortunately, little research has been conducted on how much culture matters to economic performance in a quantitative way. Therefore, in this paper, which is based on an intensive literature review, we try to specifically quantify the importance of culture to urban development in general and urban economic performance in particular, by proposing an index system dubbed as the Culture Quotient (CQ). Following this, an integrated database of 297 prefectural-level cities in China is accordingly established. By manipulating the database, the CQ value for each city is then calculated by using principal component analysis with SPSS (19.0). Afterwards, spatial pattern by CQ value tier is presented and illustrates urban China’s “winner-take-all” phenomenon, with the predominance by the three giant urban clusters in the coastal area, i.e., the Jing (Beijing)-Jin (Tianjin)-Ji (Hebei province)-based Bohai rim region, Yangtze River delta, Pearl River delta, as well as some mega-cities such as Chengdu and Wuhan in other parts of China. More precisely, the regression analysis shows that there is a strong positive relationship between CQ and gross domestic product (GDP), with the striking result that every increase of one percentage point in CQ will induce a five percentage point increment in GDP. Although the finding makes an impressive and convincing case that culture does exert a great impact on urban economic development, and can also be measured in a quantitative way in Chinese cases, more cases from other countries need to be included for further verification and confirmation. We therefore urgently call for more in-depth international comparative studies both in theoretical and practical regards. View Full-Text
Keywords: culture sustainability; Culture Quotient (CQ); innovation; urban competitiveness; Chinese cities culture sustainability; Culture Quotient (CQ); innovation; urban competitiveness; Chinese cities

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Lin, J.; Cai, J.; Han, Y.; Zhu, H.; Cheng, Z. Culture Sustainability: Culture Quotient (CQ) and Its Quantitative Empirical Application to Chinese Cities. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1235.

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