Due to the serious resource and environmental problems in urbanized areas, it is necessary to carry out a specific evaluation on their typical problems in the early-warning of the resource and environmental carrying capacity. However, most of the existing studies are too complicated to operationalize for practical use, and they lack consideration of the differences among development stages. According to the resource and environmental problems highlighted in the urbanized areas in recent years, we adopted an urban black-gray index of water and air environment as the specific indicator to reflect the comfort degree of habitat environment in urbanized areas at the present stage. Meanwhile, the key thresholds of urban black-odor water bodies and PM2.5 pollution days were determined in line with the major functions of the optimized and prioritized zones. Based on the above method, this article presented an empirical analysis on the urbanized area in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. Trial evaluation shows that, in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urbanized areas, 47 districts or counties were in the severe warning category, 46 were in the moderate warning category, and only 11 were in the mild warning category. The severe-warning districts or counties were mainly concentrated along the Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed railway, and the distribution pattern was consistent with the regional distribution of major traffic lines and steel manufacture aggregation. The mild-warning districts and counties were mainly distributed in the northern Zhangjiakou-Chengde area and the eastern coastal areas, where the industries were relatively few and the geographic location was conducive to the rapid spread of pollutants. In summary, as an indispensable supplement to basic evaluation of resource and environmental carrying capacity for early-warning, the specific evaluation for urbanized areas can reflect the main constraints of these areas more clearly, and determine the early-warning status of different functional zones in different development stages objectively. The evaluation provides a scientific basis for urban spatial planning, urban development strategy research, and industrial structure adjustment in urbanized areas
In order to comprehensively and objectively assess water resources carrying status and provide a theoretical support for sound spatial planning of socioeconomic development, this study reviewed existing research on carrying capacity of water resources and examined the meaning of water resources carrying capacity. An index system for evaluating water resources carrying capacity was constructed considering three key factors—water quantity, quality, and ecology. Physical quantity index was employed in the evaluation of each factor of water resources. Comparing the index values and the evaluation standards, comprehensive carrying status of water resources system can be obtained by considering the situation of the worst factor. Hebei Province was taken as a case study to evaluate the carrying status of its water resources system. Measures and suggestions for managing water resources were proposed based on the evaluation result and overloading cause analysis. Finally, the evaluation method was verified.
Carrying out research on evaluation techniques of regional land resources carrying capacity is of great significance for the smooth implementation of national strategic objectives. From the perspective of land development and utilization, this article comprehensively considers the factors that have marked impact on land development and construction. First it estimates the scale and distribution of construction land by distributed algorithm, and then it determines the reasonable intensity of land exploitation and its spatial distribution. Finally, it evaluates the regional carrying status through the analysis of the present development state and reasonable development state. In a case study of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the results show that the relationship between the present situation of development and the reasonable development state can effectively reflect the state of land development and utilization with regard to the carrying capacity, Using construction development activities as the evaluation focus has important policy implications because it enables refined and differentiated spatial structure optimization regulation policy making.
Taking the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region as an example, this article puts forward a method of geological hazard risk assessment. By calculating the level of threat of geological hazards and vulnerability of hazard-affected bodies first, we evaluated the geological hazard risk of counties and districts by qualitative comprehensive assessment. Vulnerability of hazard-affected bodies is composed of population vulnerability and property vulnerability, which are represented by the rate of deaths and rate of direct economic loss caused by geological hazards. Combing with the data of geological disaster situation during 2001-2015 from the Ministry of Land and Resources and taking into account the 1950-2000 disaster data, we proposed the classification standards of population vulnerability and property vulnerability. These standards and calculation were applied in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The result shows that the overall geological hazard risk is low. Only six areas—Laiyuan, Laishui, Wuan, Qinglong Manchu Autonomous County, Shijingshan, and Yanqing—show medium risk among the total of 204 assessed county and district units. The rest of the counties and districts are in the low risk area, which is in agreement with the reality. The method proposed here is simple and easy to use, and data can be acquired continuously. The spatial difference assessment result can be used to support the disaster prevention and risk reduction efforts and spatial planning and management.
Marine functional zonation is an important basis for marine spatial planning and exploitation, as stipulated by the Sea Use Management Law of the People's Republic of China. In this study, the Delphi method was employed to explore resource consumption coefficients of the 8 types of Grade I and 30 types of Grade II marine functional zones. Then the marine exploitation index and evaluation standard were established. The capacity index of marine exploitation and reclamation index were created based on marine functional zonation. The Tianjin-Hebei coastal area was chosen as a typical case to test the methods and indices. The result shows that the evaluation methods of marine exploitation capacity can reveal the capacity of marine exploitation objectively. Marine exploitation capacity index is 10.30, 13.87, and 10.30 in Cofeidian, Tianjin coastal new district, and Huanghua, which belong to the high capacity zone. Marine exploitation capacity index is 7.61 in Changli, which belongs to the moderate capacity zone. While marine exploitation capacity index is below 5.0 in Qinhuangdao City, Funing, Leting, Luannan, and Fengnan, which belong to the low capacity zone.
In the construction of resource and environmental carrying capacity monitoring and early-warning system, overloading thresholds are key factors, and their determination is an important but difficult topic in the current research of evaluation methods. This article focuses on the analysis of existing overloading threshold determination methods and associated problems according to relevant research in China and internationally, as well as the "Technical Manual of Resources and Environment Carrying Capacity Monitoring and Early-Warning (Trial)" issued by the National Development and Reform Commission of the People's Republic of China. One conclusion of this study is that the trial technical manual is based on the compliance with marine functional zoning and environmental quality standards, as well as the trend of change to determine the overloading thresholds. The relationship between resource and environmental protection and socioeconomic development has not been fully considered. So the innovativeness of the method and the management implication of the evaluation results are still weak. This article explores the construction of a regional differentiated and more scientific and applicable method to determine the overloading threshold, from the perspective of restrictive effect of marine resources and environment on socioeconomic development.
Based on the national needs for resources and environment carrying capacity monitoring and early-warning, this article addresses the definition of ecological carrying capacity and its evaluation method for early-warning. A case study was carried out for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The article concludes that ecological carrying capacity refers to the ability of ecosystems in providing ecosystem services, preventing ecological problems, and ensuring ecological security. Ecological carrying capacity evaluation for early-warning is to examine the extent of human disturbances that affect ecosystem services supply with regard to water retention, soil retention, sandstorm prevention; produce ecological problems; and affect regional and national ecological security. The main procedures involve indicator and evaluation method selection, threshold identification, status and trend analysis of ecological carrying capacity with reference to early-warning threshold, and cause analysis. The method and case study of ecological carrying capacity evaluation for early-warning proposed in this study can serve as a basis for regional and national assessment.
Establishing the monitoring and early-warning mechanism of resource and environmental carrying capacity is an innovative work of comprehensive and deepening reforms of China. This research proposed an evaluation model of environmental carrying capacity based on environmental quality standards. This model measures the carrying capacity of atmospheric, water, and the whole environment through calculating the exceeding standard value index of pollutant concentration, and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region was used as the pilot study area. The conclusions are as follows: (1) The evaluation results of the pilot study area show that 99% of the districts were in the status of overloading. (2) With regard to atmospheric environmental carrying capacity, 98% of the districts were in the status of overloading with PM10 and PM2.5 as the main pollutants. The concentrations of O3 and NO2 also seriously exceeded the values specified in the standards—87% and 72% of the districts were in the status of overloading with these two pollutants, respectively. (3) With respect to water environmental carrying capacity, all 108 districts were in the status of overloading with TN, DO, NH3-N, and TP as the main pollutants. This evaluation model objectively reflects the state of environmental carrying capacity based on the environmental quality. It can potentially be widely applied to the evaluation of environmental carrying capacity in different regions.
Based on the application requirements of post-disaster resource and environmental carrying capacity evaluation for national reconstruction planning after the occurrence of major natural disasters, the main difficulties of emergent evaluation of post-disaster resource and environmental carrying capacity are analyzed, and the paradigm and technical process of such evaluation are preliminarily established under the multiple constraints of limited supply of resources, limited environmental capacity, protection of ecological security, and reduction of disaster risks. Moreover, the future prospects of post-disaster resource and environmental carrying capacity research and emergent evaluation are put forward. The results show that: In view of the limited time for performing such emergent evaluation, the broad range of factors to be considered in the evaluation, high decision risk, strong uncertainty, insufficient data base, and other challenges, emergent evaluation of carrying capacity should focus on the following four aspects: prediction of regional function and construction of index system, evaluation of individual factors and creation of technical criteria, integrated evaluation and reconstruction zoning, and estimation of population capacity and reconstruction model development. In the future, it is necessary to further deepen post-disaster carrying capacity research and emergent evaluation in the following areas: research on critical thresholds and parameters of emergent evaluation of post-disaster carrying capacity for reconstruction planning, design and research of auxiliary support system and planning convergence technology, research on the evolutionary characteristics and resilience of post-disaster carrying capacity, and research on high risk areas of natural disasters and countermeasures, especially in the periphery and surrounding mountainous areas of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, in order to improve the speed, standardization, and precision of post-disaster emergent evaluation, and provide some references for strengthening the national and local governments' post-disaster response capability.
Establishing the monitoring and early-warning mechanism for resource and environmental system overloading and implementing restrictive policies in overloaded areas is a vital task faced by the central government in China in the process of comprehensive and deepening reforms. Cause analysis of overloading is the most important technology of the monitoring and early-warning system of resource and environmental carrying capacity. It is also the basis of formulating regional restrictive policies. This research first sets up an overall framework for the cause analysis of overloading, then describes the key factors and the methods for analysis. Based on this framework, the study conducts basic evaluations, specific evaluations, and comprehensive analysis of overloading for the land and marine systems, and summarizes some important findings. Finally, it conducts an empirical study on the resource and environmental system of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The results show that the causes of resource and environmental system overloading in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region can be divided into natural, developmental, and management factors. The primary causes of overloading are developmental factors such as excessive concentration of population and industries, low-end industries, and energy consumption structure. Water resources shortage and the landform and climate are the main reasons for the overloading. The overloading of the marine environment is due to the poor purification ability of the inland sea, the ecological degradation of the sea area, and the intensity of coastal development. In addition, the dominant factors and their interactions varied in different regions. The difference is not only seen in the basic evaluations, but also in the specific evaluations and comprehensive analysis of overloading. Unfortunately, the existing resource and environmental management policies cannot effectively contain and solve the overloading problem of the resource and environmental system, and more effective measures need to be explored. The framework, methods, and cause analysis of overloading developed in this study can be used by the national and local governments for the monitoring and early-warning of the resource and environmental carrying capacity overloading.
This article discusses the design basis of the early-warning system of resource and environmental carrying capacity, explains the basic concepts of resource and environmental carrying capacity and its evaluation and early-warning mechanism, and builds the theoretical model and develops key technical points of the early-warning of the national resource and environmental carrying capacity evaluation (2016 version), including technical process, evaluation system, integration methods, and classification approaches, which can provide an important technical reference for carrying out the early-warning of national resource and environmental carrying capacity overloading. This research shows that "the limits to growth" is the theoretical basis of the early-warning of resource and environmental carrying capacity. Based on the county-level administrative regions, this work carries out evaluation of terrestrial and marine resource and environmental carrying capacity respectively, both include basic and specific evaluations. The basic evaluation adopts unified basic indicators to conduct an overall regional evaluation; and the specific evaluation is conducted for different major functional zones, including optimized development zones, priority development zones, and restricted development zones, with corresponding characteristic indicators. Then the worst performing one of all indicators is used to classify the evaluated units, which separates the evaluated regions into resource and environmental overloading, critical overloading, and non-overloading areas. Combining with the evaluation results of resource and environmental consumption, five early-warning levels—red (extremely serious warning), orange (serious warning), yellow (medium-level warning), blue (slight warning), and green (no warning) are divided based on the classification results. Finally, the three carrying capacity types and five early-warning levels of resource and environmental are verified through the terrestrial-marine coordinated test.
Establishing the mechanism of monitoring and early-warning of resource and environmental carrying capacity is an innovative work of comprehensively deepening reforms in China. An important approach to analyze resource and environmental carrying capacity is to measure the trend of resource and environmental depletion. Based on the three perspectives of resource consumption, environmental damage, and ecological quality change, this study developed an evaluation method of resource and environmental depletion and carried out a trial evaluation in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The results show that the developed method is effective to objectively reflect the changing trend of resource and environmental conditions in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. Trial evaluation shows that in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, water and soil resource use efficiency is becoming better, 80% units are in the type of high efficiency. Pollutant emission intensity continued to decline in the past decade, but there are also 33% units staying in the type of high intensity. The overall ecological quality is in a state of gradual decline and the average annual rate of decline is 1.2%. From the perspective of indicators combination, units whose water and soil resources utilization efficiency increase at the same time have the largest number. The combination of pollutant emission intensity presents polarization characteristics. Resource and environmental consumption is more intensive in city areas than that in the counties.