Special Issue "Strategic Management toward a Sustainable Urbanization by Balancing the Utilization of Land and/or Water Resources"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Chihhao Fan
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Interests: river pollution control and water quality management; assessment of carrying capacity of water bodies; strategy for TMDL (total maximum daily load) implementation; watershed management; environmental chemistry; water and wastewater treatment; advanced oxidation processes; impact of macromolecule on AOP treatment efficiency; photo-catalytic oxidation of disinfection by-products in drinking water; transport and fate of environmental contaminants; quality assurance and conservation of agro-environment
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Yu-Pin Lin
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, 10617, Taiwan
Interests: spatial statistics and modeling in environmental and ecological systems; applications of GIS and remote sensing in environmental and ecological systems; freshwater monitoring and modeling; optimal environmental monitoring network design; landscape ecology in land-use management and planning; ecohydrology; groundwater modeling; land-use planning and modeling; soil heavy metal pollution assessment; multiscale analysis in environmental and ecological systems; system dynamic modeling in environmental systems; ecosystem services; system dynamic modeling; optimization techniques
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urbanization has been an apparent outcome of the advancement of human civilization, as well as cultural prosperity. Unfortunately, excessive exploitation and utilization of natural resource has put us into a dilemma between modernized development and environmental conservation. Additionally, the impact of global environmental change results in an even more severe situation when dealing with the issues of resource allocation. In the literature, many studies report the investigations of optimal strategy of environmental resource utilization for societal advancement and urbanization at the compromise of acceptable environmental degradation. In light of these above statements, the resource management and allocation for sustainable urbanization is an issue of concern that deserves further exploration. The related managerial strategy should consider the conceptual framework of current recognition on sustainable urbanization.

To deal with such a significant impact on the environment, efforts regarding the investigations of the (1) strategic utilization of available water resources, (2) proper planning and exploitation on land system, (3) balance of expended resources on sustainable urbanization, (4) the quantitative/qualitative benefits resulting from the sustainable use of environment resources, and (5) other related implementable measures that enhance the resource consumption efficiency and urban sustainability, are welcome to present in this Special Issue. Hopefully, these studies should be able to build a linkage between current resource allocation practices and future urbanization planning to achieve the ultimate goal of environmental sustainability.

Prof. Chihhao Fan
Prof. Dr. Yu-Pin Lin
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Urbanization
  • Sustainability
  • Strategic development
  • Water environment
  • Land management

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Spatial-Temporal Coupling Analysis of the Coordination between Urbanization and Water Ecosystem in the Yangtze River Economic Belt
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3757; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193757 - 06 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
As a primary pioneering region in China’s ongoing urbanization process, the Yangtze River Economic Belt’s (YREB’s) urbanization process is itself continually accelerating, causing increasing pressure on the area’s water ecosystem. It is necessary to examine the coordination relationship between the urbanization system and [...] Read more.
As a primary pioneering region in China’s ongoing urbanization process, the Yangtze River Economic Belt’s (YREB’s) urbanization process is itself continually accelerating, causing increasing pressure on the area’s water ecosystem. It is necessary to examine the coordination relationship between the urbanization system and the water ecosystem in the YREB for realizing sustainable urban development. To this purpose, we use two comprehensive index systems, along with an improved coupling coordination degree (CCD) model. This method is used to analyze the coordination between urbanization and the water ecosystem across spatial gradients and temporal scales in the YREB, from 2008 to 2017. The factors acting as obstacles were diagnosed by utilizing the obstacle degree model. The results show that: (1) the coordination state of each region gradually improved during the 2008–2017 period. In terms of spatial distribution, the coordination state between two systems gradually increased from east to west. Moreover, the spatial differences across the 11 analyzed regions gradually narrowed with the passage of time. (2) The coordination between the two systems, from 2008 to 2017, evolved from a state of serious imbalance to a state of good coordination. The two systems passed from an initial period of imbalance or antagonism, coupled with rapid growth (2008–2011), through a period of basic coordination with steady growth (2011–2014), and finally toward a period of good coordination with slow growth (2014–2017). (3) Spatial urbanization and pressures on subsystems are the key factors acting as obstacles in the urbanization system and water ecosystem, respectively. Facing the process of rapid urbanization in China, the coupling analysis of the coordination between urbanization and the water ecosystem can help the government to formulate a reasonable new-type urban development strategy. This strategy will play an important role in China’s sustainable urban development and water environmental protection. The findings of this study provide important support for urban planning in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Household Health and Cropland Abandonment in Rural China: Theoretical Mechanism and Empirical Evidence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3588; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193588 - 25 Sep 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Prior studies have fully explored the impacts of rural labor migration on land use forms. In contrast to prior studies, this study focuses on the health status of rural households and its quantitative impacts on cropland abandonment (CA). More specifically, under the guidance [...] Read more.
Prior studies have fully explored the impacts of rural labor migration on land use forms. In contrast to prior studies, this study focuses on the health status of rural households and its quantitative impacts on cropland abandonment (CA). More specifically, under the guidance of the theoretical mechanism of “household health affects CA by labor supply”, this study employs survey data from 8031 households collected in 27 Chinese provinces in 2014 to explore the quantitative impacts of household health on CA. The results are as follows. (1) The higher the level of household health is, the less CA there is. (2) Compared with males, the impact of female health status on CA is more obvious. Thus, the relationship between household health and CA matters, not only because it may help to theoretically enhance the understanding of the importance of health in peasant households, but also because it may help to practically provide references for effective policies of CA from the perspective of rural medical services. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Landscape Grain Effect in Yancheng Coastal Wetland and Its Response to Landscape Changes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2225; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16122225 - 24 Jun 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The landscape grain effect reflects the spatial heterogeneity of a landscape and it is used as a research core of landscape ecology. The landscape grain effect can be used to not only explore spatiotemporal variation characteristics of a landscape pattern, but also to [...] Read more.
The landscape grain effect reflects the spatial heterogeneity of a landscape and it is used as a research core of landscape ecology. The landscape grain effect can be used to not only explore spatiotemporal variation characteristics of a landscape pattern, but also to disclose variation laws of ecological structures and functions of landscapes. In this study, the sensitivity of landscape pattern indexes to grain sizes 50–1000 m was studied based on landscape data in Yancheng Coastal Wetland acquired in 1991, 2000, 2008, and 2017. Response of the grain effect to landscape changes was analyzed and an optimal grain size for analysis in the study area was determined. Results indicated that: (1) among 27 indexes (12 in a class level and 15 in a landscape level), eight indexes were highly sensitive to grains, ten indexes presented moderate sensitivity, eight indexes presented low sensitivity, and one was unresponsive. It was shown that the area-margin index and the shape index were more sensitive to the different grain sizes. The aggregation index had some differences in the grain size change, and the diversity index had a low response degree to the grain size. (2) Landscape indexes showed six different responses to different grains, including slow reduced response, fast reduced and then slow reduced response, monotonically increased response, fluctuating reduced response, up-down responses, and stable response, which indicated that the landscape index was closely related to the spatial grain. (3) From 1991 to 2017, variation curves of the landscape grain size of different landscape types could be divided into four types: fluctuation rising type, fluctuation type, monotonous decreasing type, and monotonous rising type. Different grain size curves had different interpretations of landscape changes, but in general, Yancheng Coastal Wetland’s landscape tended to be fragmented and complicated, internal connectivity was weakened, and dominant landscape area was reduced. Natural wetlands were more sensitive to grain size effects than artificial wetlands. (4) The landscape index at the 50 m grain size had a strong response to different grain size changes, and the loss of landscape information was the smallest. Therefore, it was determined that the optimal landscape grain size in the study area was 50 m. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Can Land Marketization Help Reduce Industrial Pollution?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2213; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16122213 - 22 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Industrial pollution control is a difficult problem in China’s current economic transformation, and the Chinese government has implemented many measures to deal with it. However, little research has focused on the relationship between land policy and industrial pollution. Based on the theoretical discussion [...] Read more.
Industrial pollution control is a difficult problem in China’s current economic transformation, and the Chinese government has implemented many measures to deal with it. However, little research has focused on the relationship between land policy and industrial pollution. Based on the theoretical discussion of the mechanism influencing the market-oriented reform of industrial land (mainly refer to the marketization of land conveyance price and the openness of land conveyance process) on urban industrial pollution, we constructed an analytical framework by linking land policy with industrial pollution. Then, we constructed an econometric model and chose the statistical data of 104 large- and medium-sized cities in mainland China from 2003 to 2016. The results indicate that with the marketization of the industrial land conveyance price, urban industrial pollution is presenting an inverted U-shaped change trend. For cities in different development stages of industrialization, there is no difference in the impact of industrial land conveyance price on urban industrial pollution. However, the openness of industrial land conveyance promotes and inhibits the urban industrial pollution in the stages of industrialization and post-industrialization, respectively. Finally, this paper puts forward some suggestions on how to control industrial pollution from the perspective of further improving the industrial land conveyance mechanism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Implication of Land-Use/Land-Cover Change for the Declining Soil Erosion Risk in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1856; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101856 - 26 May 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The Three Gorges Reservoir Region (TGRR) in China is an ecologically and politically important region experiencing rapid land use/cover changes and prone to many environment hazards related to soil erosion. In the present study, we: (1) estimated recent changes in the risk pattern [...] Read more.
The Three Gorges Reservoir Region (TGRR) in China is an ecologically and politically important region experiencing rapid land use/cover changes and prone to many environment hazards related to soil erosion. In the present study, we: (1) estimated recent changes in the risk pattern of soil erosion in the TGRR, (2) analysed how the changes in soil erosion risks could be associated with land use and land cover change, and (3) examined whether the interactions between urbanisation and natural resource management practices may exert impacts on the risks. Our results indicated a declining trend of soil erosion risk from 14.7 × 106 t in 2000 to 1.10 × 106 t in 2015, with the most risky areas being in the central and north TGRR. Increase in the water surface of the Yangtze River (by 61.8%, as a consequence of water level rise following the construction of the Three Gorges Dam), was found to be negatively associated with soil erosion risk. Afforestation (with measured increase in forest extent by 690 km2 and improvement of NDVI by 8.2%) in the TGRR was associated with positive soil erosion risk mitigation. An interaction between urbanisation (urban extant increased by 300 km2) and vegetation diversification (decreased by 0.01) was identified, through which the effect of vegetation diversification on soil erosion risk was negative in areas having lower urbanisation rates only. Our results highlight the importance of prioritising cross-sectoral policies on soil conservation to balance the trade-offs between urbanisation and natural resource management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Coupling and Coordination Degrees of the Core Water–Energy–Food Nexus in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(9), 1648; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16091648 - 11 May 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
Achieving sustainable development in the water–energy–food (WEF) nexus is gaining global attention. The coupling and coordination degrees are a way to measure sustainable development levels of a complex system. This study assessed the coupling and coordination degrees of the core WEF nexus and [...] Read more.
Achieving sustainable development in the water–energy–food (WEF) nexus is gaining global attention. The coupling and coordination degrees are a way to measure sustainable development levels of a complex system. This study assessed the coupling and coordination degrees of the core WEF nexus and identified key factors that affect sustainable development. First, an index system for assessing coupling and coordination degrees of the core WEF nexus was built. Second, the development levels of three subsystems as well as the coupling and coordination degrees of the core WEF nexus in China were calculated. The results showed that from 2007 to 2016, the mean value of the coupling degree was 0.746 (range (0.01, 1)), which was a high level. This proved that the three resources were interdependent. Hence, it was necessary to study their relationship. However, the mean value of the coordination degree was 0.395 (range (0, 1)), which was a low level. This showed that the coordination development of the core WEF nexus in China was low. It is necessary to take some measures to improve the situation. According to the key factors that affect the development levels of water, energy, and food subsystems, the authors put forward some suggestions to improve the coordination development of the WEF system in China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Improved Ecological Services Valuation Model in Land Use Project
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1474; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081474 - 25 Apr 2019
Abstract
Natural ecosystems benefit human lives via providing fundamental life-support services and goods upon which human civilization depends. However, as nature provides those for free, many people believe that they are of little or no value and they exploit the land greedily and unreasonably, [...] Read more.
Natural ecosystems benefit human lives via providing fundamental life-support services and goods upon which human civilization depends. However, as nature provides those for free, many people believe that they are of little or no value and they exploit the land greedily and unreasonably, which makes serious ecological degradation. Concerning this issue, we present the ecological services valuation model (ESVM) to measure the cost of environmental degradation of land use cost, which is an evaluation model of environmental degradation cost. Environmental degradation cost refer to the cost of deterioration or compromise of natural environment through natural processes or human activities, which consists of opportunity cost and environmental damage cost. Land area is an important variable in the ESVM. Based on Osmotic system, we put forward the effective land area, which combines the scale factor and the impact of external environment. What is more, the Cobb–Douglas production function is modified to establish the model. Finally, we propose the calculation formula of the economic cost of land use projects. Analysis of effectiveness and sensitivity prove that ESVM was a relatively stable model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Demographic Forecasts Using the Game Theory
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1400; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081400 - 18 Apr 2019
Abstract
This paper offers certain predictions concerning the demographic population of the cities Vilnius and Olsztyn. The authors used a method of analyzing and synthesizing data sources, and comparing the actual data with the forecast between the years 1997–2014. Each prediction was prepared in [...] Read more.
This paper offers certain predictions concerning the demographic population of the cities Vilnius and Olsztyn. The authors used a method of analyzing and synthesizing data sources, and comparing the actual data with the forecast between the years 1997–2014. Each prediction was prepared in connection with its use in various areas of life, particularly for all studies involving spatial planning. The data collected on the basis of the forecasts were used by spatial planners to devise strategies for local development at the city, municipality, and provincial levels. In this sense, they created basic documents for the sustainable planning of space. The process of forecasting is a difficult and complex issue, and its accuracy determines both the choice of methods and the quality of the output. Our study sets out predictions concerning the demographic processes over the coming years in the two cities mentioned. Given that all long-range forecasts are characterized by high risk, especially taking into account the unstable political situation in Europe, the steadily deteriorating situation in the labor market and rising social discontent are of relevance, as they are causing the ongoing dynamics of the population to change, making statistical errors more likely and more serious. This has meant that organizations like Poland’s Central Statistical Office, Eurostat, and the United Nations have to adjust their demographic projections at least every two years, and the methods for making demographic forecasts which are used by governmental institutions have proven to be less than satisfactory. The main purpose of the article, therefore, is to present the authors’ method of making demographic projections by using elements of game theory. The results obtained in this method were compared with the results of the forecasting methods currently used by the governments of Poland and Lithuania. The developed method, based on the same input data and analogous coefficients, brings more probable results. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Empirical Framework for a Relative Sustainability Evaluation of Urbanization on the Water–Energy–Food Nexus Using Simultaneous Equation Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 901; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16060901 - 13 Mar 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The water–energy–food (WEF) nexus attracts much attention due to the elevated public concern regarding environmental conservation and sustainability. As we head into a new era of civilization, population increase and modernized lifestyles have led to an increasing need for water, energy, and food. [...] Read more.
The water–energy–food (WEF) nexus attracts much attention due to the elevated public concern regarding environmental conservation and sustainability. As we head into a new era of civilization, population increase and modernized lifestyles have led to an increasing need for water, energy, and food. However, severe hydrological precipitation significantly impacts agricultural harvest, and such influence becomes more apparent under the influence of climate change. Meanwhile, the major method of electricity generation (i.e., fossil fuel burning) has a negative impact on the environment. These inevitable threats are crucial and have to be dealt with for a society on the road towards sustainability. In the present study, an integrated evaluation of the WEF nexus was conducted for two areas with different levels of urbanization using empirical multiple linear regression in a simultaneous equation model (SEM). By incorporating the collected data into the SEM, the weighting coefficient of each identified variable was obtained, and the nexus implication was assessed in model simulation at different scenarios considering the population growth, agro-technology advancement, energy structure improvement, and available water resources. In the simulated results, three observations were found: (1) the rural area is more sustainable than the urban one; (2) the sustainability for both the investigated areas is significantly subject to their water supply and demand; and (3) food production was found to have a less important effect on the sustainable development of the urban area. This study identified the key factors in the WEF nexus exploration, which are economically and environmentally important for resource allocation. An empirical model was developed to correlate sustainable achievement with WEF management, as well as strategic policies that should be implemented under the pressure of urbanization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Evaluation Model for Urban Comprehensive Carrying Capacity: An Empirical Case from Harbin City
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030367 - 28 Jan 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Urbanization has brought notable benefits for cities, but has also resulted in severe and diverse challenges in China. Previous studies have contributed to the definitions and evaluation of urbanization. However, there remain a great deal of ambiguities regarding urban comprehensive carrying capacity, and [...] Read more.
Urbanization has brought notable benefits for cities, but has also resulted in severe and diverse challenges in China. Previous studies have contributed to the definitions and evaluation of urbanization. However, there remain a great deal of ambiguities regarding urban comprehensive carrying capacity, and its measurable indicators still need further exploration given the urban development. This study aims to explore a model for evaluating urban comprehensive carrying capacity and thus to promote urban development. A total of 48 indicators which fell into 8 subsystems were identified to evaluate the urban comprehensive carrying capacity through literature reviews and interviews. The indicator set was developed for evaluation indicator selecting. Meanwhile, the dynamic system was explored, and an evaluation model based on the entire array polygon method was designed to evaluate urban comprehensive carrying capacity. Finally, a case study was conducted to provide suggestions for the decision-maker to implement the evaluation model. The results of this study show that the evaluation indicator system was dynamic due to urban development. Meanwhile, the model of the entire array polygon method was able to effectively evaluate urban comprehensive carrying capacity through the case study. Furthermore, this study found that there is an imbalance among subsystems in urban development according to the standard deviation. The findings are useful for setting up a benchmark framework for urban sustainability and providing an evaluation and monitoring model for decision maker to improve the urban carrying capacity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Land Use/Cover Change on Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration Ecosystem Services Value: Temporal-Spatial Patterns and Cold/Hot Spots Ecosystem Services Value Change Brought by Urbanization
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010123 - 04 Jan 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Land use/cover change (LUCC) from increased urbanization significantly impacts regional ecosystem services. Based on a cold/hot spots analysis, this paper used grain yield, food prices, price index statistics, and a land use thematic map to study the impact of LUCC on four ecosystem [...] Read more.
Land use/cover change (LUCC) from increased urbanization significantly impacts regional ecosystem services. Based on a cold/hot spots analysis, this paper used grain yield, food prices, price index statistics, and a land use thematic map to study the impact of LUCC on four ecosystem services values (ESVs) in the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration, and determine the spatial differences resulting from the rapid urbanization LUCC. The correlation between the four ecosystem services was then studied and sensitivity analyses conducted to investigate whether any changes in the ESVs could lead to unacceptable unit value transfer uncertainties. It was found that most urban land was converted from farmland, and that before 2000, the total ESVs and the regulating services values (RSVs) increased significantly, after which it declined, the provisioning services values (PSVs) declined year on year, the habitat services value (HSV) and cultural and amenity services value (CSV) declined sharply after 2000, and the spatial distribution of the four ESVs were significantly different. Over time, it was found that the hot spots were shrinking and the cold spots were spreading. The provisioning services were found to be negatively correlated with habitat services and cultural and amenity services, the regulating services were weakly positively correlated with the provisioning services and significantly positively correlated with the habitat services and cultural and amenity services, and the habitat services were significantly positively correlated with cultural and amenity services. In the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration, the water area is the most important for the total ESVs, followed by non-bush forest. Paddy field is ranked third. Dryland, bush, grassland, and wetland are less important. The importance of barren land is almost zero. This research provides the government with a scientific basis from which to formulate spatial planning and environmental protection policies for ecological sustainable development in the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evolution of the Pattern of Spatial Expansion of Urban Land Use in the Poyang Lake Ecological Economic Zone
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010117 - 04 Jan 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
To grasp the evolutionary characteristics and regularity of urban land expansion patterns in the Poyang Lake Ecological Economic Zone, this study, based on nighttime lighting data, uses the Landsat series satellite simultaneous data and cluster analysis to correct the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program–Operational [...] Read more.
To grasp the evolutionary characteristics and regularity of urban land expansion patterns in the Poyang Lake Ecological Economic Zone, this study, based on nighttime lighting data, uses the Landsat series satellite simultaneous data and cluster analysis to correct the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program–Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS) nighttime lighting data and then uses the auxiliary data-based comparison method to determine the threshold for extracting the urban built-up area. Based on this threshold, a total of eight typical landscape pattern indicators, including landscape total area, total patches number, patches density, maximum patches index, and agglomeration index, etc., are selected. Next, the landscape spatial pattern analysis method and standard deviation ellipse method are used. The results show the following: (1) In 1992–2013, urbanization in the Poyang Lake Ecological Economic Zone expanded rapidly. The urban built-up area increased by 8.13 times, the number of plaques increased by 1.5 times, and the shape complexity of landscape plaques gradually increased. There is a large correlation between the changes in the total boundary length, and the average boundary density, the average annual growth rate of the two is 21.33% and 17.45%. (2) The two indicators of maximum plaque index and aggregation index show a downward trend year by year. However, there are some fluctuations and irregularities in the evolution of the total landscape area, total plaque number and plaque density. (3) The long axis and the short axis of the standard deviation ellipse of the Poyang Lake Ecological Economic Zone show small variation during the inspection period and generally have an elliptical shape. The movement of the center of gravity is mainly from the southwest to the northeast, but the migration of the center of gravity is relatively small. Based on this, this paper proposes three countermeasures and suggestions as a guide to promote the optimization and development of the spatial expansion pattern of the Poyang Lake eco-economic zone. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Not-in-My-Backyard: Legislation Requirements and Economic Analysis for Developing Underground Wastewater Treatment Plant in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2339; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112339 - 23 Oct 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Underground wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have achieved fast development in China in recent years. Due to the remarkable differences between underground and conventional aboveground construction mode, legislation including technical specifications and regulations for underground WWTPs, which was revealed in vacancy, should be issued [...] Read more.
Underground wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have achieved fast development in China in recent years. Due to the remarkable differences between underground and conventional aboveground construction mode, legislation including technical specifications and regulations for underground WWTPs, which was revealed in vacancy, should be issued in time to promote its development. It is also expected to avoid not-in-my-backyard sentiment by decreasing negative effects of WWTPs via construction in sealed underground space. This research took Beijing city as case study to investigate the impacts of WWTPs on nearby community from the perspective of housing price quantitatively. Differences-in-Difference (DID) model result indicates that WWTPs inhibited nearby housing price increases, leading to huge financial losses. The closer are the houses and WWTPs, the severer were the inhibition effects, indicating the relationship between environmental quality and property price. During 2016–2017, the deteriorated estate value surrounding the investigated WWTPs in Beijing was estimated as high as 32.53 billion RMB, much higher than their construction cost of about 4.38 billion RMB. Transformation from grey to green by underground construction was expected to avoid these huge value distortions, while providing alternative to enhance WWTPs with various social functions for public services. This research demonstrates the high social requirements in highly developed cities to promote fast development of underground WWTPs in China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evolution of Landscape Ecological Risk at the Optimal Scale: A Case Study of the Open Coastal Wetlands in Jiangsu, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1691; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081691 - 08 Aug 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
Detailed analysis of the evolution characteristics of landscape ecological risk is crucial for coastal sustainable management and for understanding the potential environmental impacts of a man-made landform landscapes (MMLL). As a typical open coastal wetland, large-scale human activities (e.g., tidal reclamation, fishery activities, [...] Read more.
Detailed analysis of the evolution characteristics of landscape ecological risk is crucial for coastal sustainable management and for understanding the potential environmental impacts of a man-made landform landscapes (MMLL). As a typical open coastal wetland, large-scale human activities (e.g., tidal reclamation, fishery activities, wind farm construction, and port construction) have substantially affected the evolution of the coastal ecological environment. Previous landscape ecological risk assessment studies have documented the effectiveness of assessing the quality of ecological environment processes. However, these studies have either focused on the noncoastal zone, or they have not considered the evolution of the spatial characteristics and ecological risk evolution of the landscape at an optimal scale. Here, we present a landscape ecological risk pattern (LERP) evolution model, based on two successive steps: first, we constructed an optimal scale method with an appropriate extent and grain using multi–temporal Landsat TM/OLI images acquired in the years 2000, 2004, 2008, 2013 and 2017, and then we calculated landscape ecological risk indices. Based on this model, the entire process of the spatiotemporal evolution of ecological risk patterns of the open coastal wetlands in Jiangsu, China, was determined. The principal findings are as follows: (1) The main landscape types in the study area are tidal flats and farmland, and the main features of the landscape evolution are a significant increase in aquafarming and a substantial decrease in the tidal flat area, while the landscape heterogeneity increased; (2) In the past 20 years, the areas of low and relatively low ecological risk in the study region were greatly reduced, while the areas of medium, relatively high, and high ecological risk greatly increased; the areas of high-grade ecological risk areas are mainly around Dongtai and Dafeng; (3) The area of ecological risk from low-grade to high-grade occupied 71.75% of the study area during 2000–2017. During the previous periods (2000–2004 and 2004–2008), the areas of low-grade ecological risk were transformed to areas of middle-grade ecological risk area, while during the later periods (2008–2013 and 2013–2017) there was a substantial increase in the proportion of areas of high-grade ecological risk. Our results complement the official database of coastal landscape planning, and provide important information for assessing the potential effects of MMLL processes on coastal environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Changes of Ecosystem Service Value in a Coastal Zone of Zhejiang Province, China, during Rapid Urbanization
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1301; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071301 - 21 Jun 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Gains and losses in ecosystem service values (ESV) in coastal zones in Zhejiang Province during rapid urbanization were analyzed in terms of land-use changes. Decision-making on coastal development based on ESV estimation is significant for the sustainable utilization of coastal resource. In this [...] Read more.
Gains and losses in ecosystem service values (ESV) in coastal zones in Zhejiang Province during rapid urbanization were analyzed in terms of land-use changes. Decision-making on coastal development based on ESV estimation is significant for the sustainable utilization of coastal resource. In this study, coastal land-use changes in Zhejiang Province during rapid urbanization were discussed based on remote-sensing derived land-use maps created in the years 1990, 2000 and 2010. The ESV changes in coastal zones in Zhejiang Province from 1990 to 2010 were estimated by using the established ESV estimation model. The analysis results demonstrate the following: (1) with the continuous acceleration of urbanization, land-use types in coastal zones in Zhejiang Province changed significantly from 1990 to 2010, demonstrated by considerable growth of urban construction land and reduction of forest land and farmland; (2) in the study period, the total ESV in coastal zones in Zhejiang Province continuously decreased in value from RMB 35.278 billion to 29.964 billion, a reduction of 15.06%; (3) in terms of the spatial distribution of ESV, the ESVs in coastal zones in Zhejiang Province were generally converted from a higher ESV to a lower ESV; (4) estimates of ESV for the three years 1990, 2000 and 2010 appear to be relatively stable; and (5) land-use intensity in coastal zones in Zhejiang Province continuously increased during the 20 years. The spatial distribution of land-use intensity was consistent with that of the ESV change rate. Disordered land-use changes from forestland and farmland to urban construction land was a major cause of ESV loss. Full article
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