Suitability evaluation of urban construction land is critical for both urban master planning and the proper utilization of land resources. Using the Beihu New District of Jining City, China, as a case study, this paper introduces a novel research approach for comprehensive suitability evaluation based on vertical-horizontal processes. First, by considering both the land development potential and ecological constraint resistance, the potential-resistance (PR) model was developed and used to analyze the suitability for urban construction of vertical processes. Then, given the results of the vertical suitability analysis, the current urban built-up areas were selected as the sources of urban expansion, and the minimum cumulative resistance (MCR) model was applied to evaluate the suitability for urban development in terms of horizontal processes. The study area was regionalized into four categories—priority, suitable, restricted, and prohibited areas—which were defined based on the development threshold. The results showed that restricted and prohibited areas for urban construction occupied most of the study area. Totally, 648.51 km2
was categorized as restricted or prohibited, accounting for 12.89% and 54.75% of the total area, respectively. Priority and suitable areas for urban construction covered a total area of 310.37 km2
, accounting for 16.55% and 15.81% of the total area, respectively. These areas were mainly distributed around urban centers and urban built-up areas. These findings reflect the substantial potential for future urban development and construction in the study area. The newly developed principles and methods of suitability evaluation for urban construction land presented in this paper provide more appropriate scales and spatial location for urban development and an ecological baseline for future urban growth.
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