PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2015, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (1): 38-47.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2015.01.005

• Urban Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Relationship between sustainable urban development and economic growth based on emergy analysis: a case study of Quanzhou City

HUANG Xun1,2, HUANG Minsheng1   

  1. 1. College of Geographical Science, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China;
    2. Cultivation Base of State Key Laboratory of Humid Subtropical Mountain Ecology, Fuzhou 350007, China
  • Received:2014-09-01 Revised:2014-11-01 Online:2015-01-25 Published:2015-01-25
  • About author:10.11820/dlkxjz.2015.01.005

Abstract: Cities are centers of surrounding regions and play an important role in regional economic and social developments. Approaches for achieving sustainable urban development has been a hot topic in the study of human- environment relationship. However, the dynamic mechanism of sustainable urban development is relatively neglected in existing urban sustainability studies. In this research, emergy analysis method was used to measure the level of sustainable urban development. On the basis of this analysis, we built a new model of Sustainable Development Kuznets Curve (SDKC), and used Quanzhou City as a case to analyze the dynamic relationship of economic growth and level of sustainable urban development. In addition, an improved model of degree of grey slope incidence was used to preliminarily examine the causes of the SDKC. The results show that the SDKC of Quanzhou City reveals a U-shaped relationship between the level of sustainable urban development and economic growth; the level of sustainable urban development was in negative correlation with economic scale, proportion of secondary industry, proportion of tertiary industry, export dependence, and the influence of government. The generalized pollutant discharge reduction technologies, proportion of primary industry, and foreign investment played a positive role on the level of sustainable urban development. According to the results, we put forward some recommendations on promoting sustain development of the city for decision-makers, including facilitating the transformation of economic growth mode to strengthen the positive effect of modern service industry for sustainable development; adjusting export structure and improving the efficiency of exports; avoiding repetitive public infrastructure development; strengthening technological innovations to promote energy conservation; stringent environmental regulation and barriers to entry, among others. The results of this study may provide some references and foundations for the city government to accurately grasp its sustainable urban development status and dynamic mechanism, and formulate policies that are scientifically sound for sustainable urban development.

Key words: economic growth, emergy analysis, Kuznets curve, Quanzhou City, sustainable urban development