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Open AccessArticle

Correlations between Socioeconomic Drivers and Indicators of Urban Expansion: Evidence from the Heavily Urbanised Shanghai Metropolitan Area, China

Suzhou Administrative Institution, Suzhou 215155, China
Department of Geography, Humboldt University of Berlin, Rudower Chaussee 16, Berlin 12557, German
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, P.O. Box 2713, Doha, Qatar
Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xishuangbanna 666303, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1199;
Received: 10 May 2017 / Revised: 1 July 2017 / Accepted: 3 July 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in an Urbanizing World: The Role of People)
Rapid urban expansion resulting in increased impervious surfaces causes a series of urban environmental problems, e.g., the urban heat island and urban forest fragmentation. Urban expansion is a serious threat to human quality of life and living environments. It has been studied from a variety of aspects, but its driving factors and time series expansion characteristics (i.e., expansion intensity, pattern and direction) need to be better explained in order to devise more effective management strategies. This study examined how social and economic factors are linked in driving urban expansion. Based on multi-temporal aerial images, a rapid urban expansion period, 2000–2010, in Shanghai was analysed. The urban area expanded from 1770.36 to 2855.44 km2 in the period, with a mean annual expansion rate of 108.51 km2. Urban expansion in 2000–2005 (40.42%) was much faster than in 2005–2010 (14.86%), and its direction was southeast, southwest and south. The main pattern was edge expansion in both sub-periods. Social factors, especially population density, significantly affected urban expansion. These findings can help understand the urban expansion process and its driving factors, which has important implications for urban planning and management in Shanghai and similar cities. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban expansion; spatial pattern; autocorrelation; Shanghai urban expansion; spatial pattern; autocorrelation; Shanghai
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Li, J.; Fang, W.; Wang, T.; Qureshi, S.; Alatalo, J.M.; Bai, Y. Correlations between Socioeconomic Drivers and Indicators of Urban Expansion: Evidence from the Heavily Urbanised Shanghai Metropolitan Area, China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1199.

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