PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (8): 1011-1021.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.08.001

• Special Column: Young Geographer Forum •     Next Articles

Relationship between urbanization and urban air quality: An insight on fine particulate dynamics in China

Lijian HAN()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, CAS, Beijing 100085, China
  • Received:2018-03-12 Revised:2018-07-05 Online:2018-09-04 Published:2018-09-04
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41301199, No.41771201;National Key Research and Development Program of China, No.2016YFC0503004


Urbanization is essentially a geographical concentration of population and industry, and change of landscape patterns. The proportion of the urbanized population in China has increased to more than 50% during the recent decade. The rapid growth in such a short time period has not only led to an improvement of material wealth and a higher standard of living, but also caused severe environmental pollution, particularly the air pollution in many urbanized regions of China. In this research, multi-resolution remote sensing images, meteorological records, environmental monitoring data, and ground survey records were employed at multiple scales to understand the relationship between rapid urbanization and urban air quality, taking PM2.5 concentration as an indicator of air quality. The key findings are in the following three areas: (1) The spatial-temporal patterns of PM2.5 concentration in China; (2) The spatial-temporal patterns of the relationship between urban PM2.5 pollution and rural PM2.5 pollution in China's major cities; and (3) The linkage between urbanization and PM2.5 concentration at global, regional, city, and local scales. The results of this research also encourage different approaches to urbanization study in order to mitigate the negative impact caused by urban air pollution, both in China and in other rapidly developing mid- and low-income countries.

Key words: urban air quality, atmospheric pollution, PM2.5, ecological city, spatial temporal pattern, urbanization