Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (12): 2329-2344.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201812005

• Urban and Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Regional disparity and the influencing factors of land urbanization in China at the county level, 2000-2015

GAO Jinlong1,2(),BAO Jingwei3,LIU Yansui1(),CHEN Jianglong2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    3. Center for Yellow River Civilization and Sustainable Development, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, Henan, China
  • Received:2018-05-17 Online:2018-12-14 Published:2018-12-14
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41701193, No.41571169, No.41601172;Global Rural Project-China Rural Revitalization, Research Fund of Key Laboratory of Coastal Zone Exploitation and Protection, Ministry of Land and Resource, No.2017CZEPK04


In the unprecedented urbanization process in China, urbanized land has expanded quickly at the same pace or even faster than the growth of the urban population. Employing both the ordinary least square and geographical weighted regression, we analyzed the spatial patterns and factors influencing land urbanization at the county level in 2000 and 2015. This analysis was assisted by land-use data for China acquired from the resource and environment data cloud platform. The research reveals the following points: (1) The annual growth rate of land urbanization experienced 2.77 percentages on average from 2000 to 2015. About 40% of the counties witnessed an annual increase of 3% or above. Land urbanization was manifested in a pattern of diffusion, which differed from the continued spatial polarization of demographic urbanization in China. (2) Geographically, the north-south differentiation of land urbanization was clearer than the east-west differentiation. And the high-value regions tended to be located to the southeast of "Hu Line". Counties surrounding those metropolitan areas were detected as hotspots of land urbanization. In general, there was a convergent trend of land urbanization among regions in China. (3) The factors of population growth, economic development, industrial structure, city/county features, and geographical location have played significant roles in the spatial disparities of land urbanization at the county level. Besides, the spatio-temporal dependence of their influences were also explored. This study on land urbanization and its influencing factors at the county level advances our theoretical and practical understandings of the new-type urbanization, urban and rural integration, and rural revitalization strategies in contemporary China.

Key words: land urbanization, new-type urbanization, coordination between human and land, rural revitalization, China