Dynamic Analysis of Island Urban Spatial Expansion and Its Determinants: A Case Study of Xiamen Island

  • 1. Institute of Urban Environment, CAS, Xiamen 361021, Fujian, China;
    2. Institute of Remote Sensing Applications, CAS, Beijing 100101, China

Received date: 2009-09-20

  Revised date: 2010-01-15

  Online published: 2010-06-25

Supported by

Knowledge Innovation Program of CAS, No.KZCX2-YW-450; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40901243


Most cities in the world are concentrated in coastal areas. As a special geographical component of coastal system, island urban spatial expansion is the outcome of interactions between city development and physical environment. This paper takes Xiamen Island, southeastern China, as an example to analyze island urban spatial expansion and its determinants by combining literature analysis of urban development policies, urban overall plans, population growth and industrial development, and geographical information analysis of historical maps and remote sensing images. Firstly, we reviewed the nearly 100 years of the Xiamen city development which can be identified into four periods: the embryo of modern city and early development (1908-1949; administrative boundary expansion and infrastructure development (1950-1979); special economic zone construction and rapid urbanization (1980-2003); changes from island city to bay city development since 2003. The dynamic changes of coastline, island shape, built-up area, transportation, administrative division, and major land use type conversion during the past about 100 years were analyzed individually and the characteristics of the island urban spatial expansion were concluded: expansion from a central point in the early days, expansion along a section of coastline, and expansion from coastline to inner land. Secondly, the potential determinants of island urban spatial expansion were discussed including administrative division adjustment, urban master planning revisions, industrial development, topography factors, coastal land reclamation, transportation expansion, and population growth. Finally, the effects of each potential determinant on island urban spatial expansion were summarized. The island urban spatial expansion is a result of interacted natural and social economic factors. The built-up area expansion is the major driver of island land cover and land use changes. This study can provide a scientific reference for further development of island and coastal regions of China.

Cite this article

LIN Tao, LI Xin-hu, ZHANG Guo-qin, ZHAO Qian-jun, CUI Sheng-hui . Dynamic Analysis of Island Urban Spatial Expansion and Its Determinants: A Case Study of Xiamen Island[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2010 , 65(6) : 715 -726 . DOI: 10.11821/xb201006009


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