PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2011, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (8): 1014-1020.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2011.08.008

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evaluation of Chinese Urban Compactness

MALi, JIN Fengjun   

  1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2010-10-01 Revised:2011-02-01 Online:2011-08-25 Published:2011-08-25

Abstract: Rapid urban expansion in China has led to the plowland reduction, energy consumption and pollution discharge increase. The concept of compact city prevailing in western countries since the 1960s has become the choice for China's urban development with the character of high density of industrial sectors and population in limited space. However, the route and characters of Chinese urbanization are rather different from those of western countries. It is necessary to study the feasibility on whether compact city could lead to the decrease of traffic energy consumption and pollution, and increasing economic efficiency of urban land infrastructure. Based on the analysis of compact cities, this paper built the urban compactness evaluation indicators of Chinese cities, evaluated the urban compactness of 120 cities above prefecture level, and studied its correlation matrix with urban size, resource consumption and pollution factors. The results show that many cities were in the low degree of compactness in China, and there is a weak correlation between urban compactness with the size of urban population and economy. And it is the same to the resource consumption and pollution release. There are three factors which lead to this dilemma, including rapid urbanization process, characters of urban industrial structure and low investment on public infrastructure. Finally, this paper discussed several questions: (1) what is the ultimate aim of city development? (2) what compact cities does China need? (3) how could China build compact cities?

Key words: China, compact city, impact on resource and environment, urban compactness