Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (10): 2027-2044.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201910006

• Rural Revitalization and Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatio-temporal evolution and influencing factors of urban green development efficiency in China

ZHOU Liang1,2,CHE Lei3,ZHOU Chenghu2   

  1. 1. Faculty of Geomatics, Lanzhou Jiaotong University, Lanzhou 730070, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. College of Geography and Environment Sciences, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Received:2018-07-02 Revised:2019-06-28 Online:2019-10-25 Published:2019-10-29
  • Supported by:
    The Strategic Priority Research Program of the CAS(No.XDA19040502);National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41701173);National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41961027);Science Foundation for the Excellent Youth Scholars of Ministry of Education of China(No.17YJCZH268)


Green development is pivotal to resolving natural environmental constraints, solving national economic transition, and supporting and realizing the United Nations sustainable development goals. It is gradually growing into a crucial guideline for China's ecological civilization construction, "Beautiful China" development, and global economic transition and restructure. Based on a thorough review of the concept of green development, this paper accurately depicts a full picture of China's spatio-temporal patterns of urban green development efficiency (UGDE) in 2005-2015 by using SBM-Undesirable, the Theil index and the Spatial Markov Chain methods. Moreover, the influencing mechanism has been further discussed based on a quantitative analysis of both natural and human factors. Our results demonstrate that: (1) UGDE increased steadily by 10% from 0.475 in 2005 to 0.523 in 2015. And temporally, it shows a pattern of "W"-shaped fluctuated growth. (2) Spatially, UGDE decreased from eastern to central China, and further to western China. Besides, there is an inverted pyramid pattern of "national level > regional level > local level" urban agglomeration in UDGE growth. Moreover, there is a steady urban scale structure from super city to small city in UDGE. (3) There is an evident concentration of cities with high-level and low-level UDGE, indicating a significant influence of path dependence. (4) Quantitatively speaking, compared to natural factors, human factors such as economy size, industry structure, and openness level play a more important role in influencing the UDGE.

Key words: green development, efficiency, spatial markov chain, spatio-temporal evolution, man-land relationship, sustainable development goals(SDGs)