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Open AccessArticle

Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Beijing’s Urbanization Efficiency from 2005 to 2014

by 1, 2 and 1,3,4,5,*
Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Honours College, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
Geoinformatics Division, Department of Urban Planning and Environment, Royal Institute of Technology-KTH, 10044 Stockholm, Sweden
College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Collaborative Innovation Centre for Baiyangdian Basin Ecological Protection and Jingjinji Regional Sustainable Development, Hebei University, Baoding 071002, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2190;
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
In the context of Beijing’s accelerated economic growth, a high urbanization rate and associated urban problems pose challenges. We collected panel data for the period 2005–2014 to examine the relationship between Beijing’s urbanization efficiency and economic growth rate as well as its spatial patterns of dynamic and static urbanization efficiency. Specifically, we developed a comprehensive index system for assessing Beijing’s economic growth rate and urbanization efficiency at the district (county) level. Economic level was selected as an indicator of the economic growth rate. Economic urbanization and consumption levels were selected as indicators of urbanization efficiency. We applied a sequential Malmquist total factor productivity index to estimate the dynamic urbanization efficiency and economic growth rate at the district/country level from 2005 to 2014. We measured Beijing’s static urbanization efficiency in 2014 using a data envelopment analysis model and assessed its spatiotemporal dynamics and urbanization efficiency pattern using a Getis–Ord General Gi index. The results indicated an overall average increase of 1.07% in the total factor urbanization efficiency (TFUE), with an average value of 0.91, while the total factor economic growth rate (TFEE) remained stable at an average value of 0.979. The low TFUE level evidently continues to significantly constrain TFEE. Both TFUE and TFEE levels in the Capital Function Core (CFC) area were significant, exhibiting high inputs and outputs, while these levels in the Urban Function Development (UFD), City Development Zone (CDZ), and Ecological Conservation Development (ECD) areas were below 1 for most periods, strongly indicating inefficient factor allocation. In view of this spatial pattern, TFUE’s regional spatial distribution appears remarkable, showing a decreasing trend from north to south in Beijing, excluding CFC areas. During the period 2005–2014, the CFC area and northeastern Beijing gradually developed into high urbanization efficiency cluster regions. The dominant factors accounting for the difference in total factor productivity indices between TFUE and TFEE were technical change (TC) and scale efficiency change (SEC), and the main factors driving the regional spatial distribution pattern for urbanization efficiency were TC and technical efficiency change (TEC). Accordingly, local governments should promote TC, SEC, and TEC to improve urbanization levels, with optimal strategies entailing strengthening policy support and encouraging investments in technology in UFD, CDZ, and ECD areas. Within Beijing, Dongcheng, Xicheng, Shijingshan, Mentougou, and Yanqing demonstrated effectively balanced static urbanization efficiency levels in 2014, whereas these levels in the city’s remaining 11 districts were not optimal, with extensive development. County governments should therefore promote efforts to reduce input redundancy and improve pure technical efficiency to maintain sustainable and steady development. View Full-Text
Keywords: urbanization efficiency; Malmquist index; total factor productivity; sustainability; Beijing urbanization efficiency; Malmquist index; total factor productivity; sustainability; Beijing
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Qi, W.; Gao, Y.; Zhang, Q. Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Beijing’s Urbanization Efficiency from 2005 to 2014. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2190.

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