PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2010, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (8): 927-934.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2010.08.005

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Progress in Urban Land Expansion and Its Driving Forces

LIU Tao,CAO Guangzhong   

  1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2009-09-01 Revised:2010-03-01 Online:2010-08-25 Published:2010-08-25


Urban land expansion has received considerable attentions in the recent debates in the studies in geography, environmental science, land science and urban planning. The sustained rapid urban land expansion in China has led to a series of problems and many papers focusing on this issue have been published in recent years. This paper summarizes the characteristics, spatial patterns and its driving forces of urban land expansion at national, regional and urban scales from perspectives of LUCC, regional statistics and case studies. China has been experiencing a rapid urban land expansion with a significant spatial diversity since the 1990s. The rapid growth of urban land is driven mainly by urban population and economic growth, industrialization and national and local policies. As a multidisciplinary science, researches on urban land expansion in different subjects keep separate and distinct from each other in perspective, scale, methods and data. There are abundant approaches for empirical study, while few for model establishment, not to mention the theoretical research. The absence of basic theories and research paradigms leads to the incomparability of researches from different perspectives, which will restrict further studies in this field. At last, the authors argue for intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary communication and integration to improve the theoretical research on urban land expansion.

Key words: driving forces, review, spatial pattern, urban land expansion