Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2006, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (6): 613-623.doi: 10.11821/xb200606005

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research on the Human Dimensions of Land Use Changes in the Mega-Urban Region:A Case Study of the Pearl River Delta

YAN Xiaopei1, MAO Jiangxing1,2, PU Jun3   

  1. 1. Center for Urban and Regional Studies, Zhongshan University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
    2. School of Resources and Environment, Guangxi Teacher's College, Nanning 530001, China;
    3. Shenzhen Branch, China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, Shenzhen 518031, China
  • Received:2005-07-06 Revised:2006-01-12 Online:2006-06-25 Published:2006-06-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation for Outstanding Youths of China, No.40125003


After a brief review of the studies on the human dimensions of the land use changes within and outside China, this paper, taking the Pearl River Delta as the case study area, makes a thorough and careful study on the human dimensions that affect the land use changes in China's mega-urban region from the angles of qualitative and quantitative analysis by applying GIS spatial analysis techniques and the SPSS statistic analysis techniques (such as the factor analysis and the regression analysis) together upon the data collected from the government materials, the statistical data and the on-the-spot investigation records. The results of this research consist of two parts: first, the qualitative analysis shows that the human dimensions, including population, economic growth, urbanization and industrialization, government policies and so on, have a strong correlation with the land use changes in the Pearl River Delta, and all of these human dimensions have greatly affected and will continue to affect the land use changes in the mega-urban region of the Pearl River Delta. Second, the quantitative analysis, being the further and verified step of the qualitative analysis, reveals by means of the factor analysis and the regression analysis techniques that the major human dimensions that have influenced the land use changes are population factor, economic development level factor, urbanization and industrialization factor, agricultural structure adjustment factor, regional industrial structure factor and foreign investment factor. Clearly, this result, to some extent, is consistence with the conclusion of the qualitative analysis.

Key words: Pearl River Delta, mega-urban region, land use change, human dimensions