Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2016, Vol. 71 ›› Issue (12): 2141-2154.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201612006

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Combining natural and human elements to evaluate regional human settlements quality based on raster data:A case study in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region

Xue YANG1,2, Wenzhong ZHANG1   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Science Natural and Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2016-03-09 Revised:2016-09-08 Online:2016-12-25 Published:2016-12-25
  • Supported by:
    Key Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41230632


Human settlements quality is of great significance for regional development. Combining natural elements (relief amplitude, climate index, hydrology index and vegetation index) and human elements (night light index, air quality index and traffic access index), this paper constructed Human Settlements Quality Composite Index (HSCI) at regional scale based on raster data to examine spatial variation law of human settlements quality in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in 2010. Also, based on the above, correlation between human settlements quality and population distribution was explored. The main conclusions are as follows: (1) Affected by distances from the Bohai Sea and the Taihang Mountains, natural environment in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region became gradually poor from the southeast to the northwest. Specifically, Tianjin and Cangzhou which were close to the Bohai Sea were the best, while Zhangjiakou and Chengde which were located in the west of Taihang Mountain were the worst. (2) Human environment in urban areas was superior to that in nonurban areas. And it was also consistent with administrative levels, that was prefecture-level cities were better than county-level cities. Meanwhile, because of poor air quality, human environment in southern areas was worse than that in northern ones overall. Specifically, Beijing had the best human environment, while Hengshui held the worst one. (3) HSCI presented a descending series from southeast to northwest of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, and the east side of the Taihang Mountains was more human-friendly than the west side. Besides, urban areas were more preferable than nonurban areas; still, higher level administrative regions were better than the lower ones. Consequently, Tianjin and Tangshan became the best, while Zhangjiakou and Chengde were the worst. (4) The population of the study region was mostly distributed in areas with medium human settlements quality instead of the best ones, and the correlation between population and HSCI presented a normal distribution pattern. On the whole, land with HSCI greater than 0.6 took up about 35% of the total, but it gathered about 40% of the population, which demonstrated that land with high quality human settlements had been fully used and there performed a coordination relationship between population distribution and human settlements quality distribution.

Key words: Human Settlements Quality Composite Index (HSCI), spatial variation pattern, human elements, grid, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region