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Frontiers of Earth Science

Front. Earth Sci.    2019, Vol. 13 Issue (3) : 464-477
Driving factors of urban land growth in Guangzhou and its implications for sustainable development
Xuezhu CUI1, Shaoying LI2(), Xuetong WANG1, Xiaolong XUE1
1. School of Management, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510000, China
2. School of Geographical Science, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510000, China
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Since 2000, China’s urban land has expanded at a dramatic speed because of the country’s rapid urbanization. The country has been experiencing unbalanced development between rural and urban areas, causing serious challenges such as agricultural security and land resources waste. Effectively evaluating the driving factors of urban land growth is essential for improving efficient land use management and sustainable urban development. This study established a principal component regression model based on eight indicators to identify their influences on urban land growth in Guangzhou. The results provided a grouping analysis of the driving factors, and found that economic growth, urban population, and transportation development are the driving forces of urban land growth of Guangzhou, while the tertiary industry has an opposite effect. The findings led to further suggestions and recommendations for urban sustainable development. Hence, local governments should design relevant policies for achieving the rational development of urban land use and strategic planning on urban sustainable development.

Keywords driving factors      urban land growth      principal component regression      land management policy      sustainable development      Guangzhou     
Corresponding Authors: Shaoying LI   
Just Accepted Date: 02 March 2018   Online First Date: 13 April 2018    Issue Date: 15 October 2019
 Cite this article:   
Xuezhu CUI,Shaoying LI,Xuetong WANG, et al. Driving factors of urban land growth in Guangzhou and its implications for sustainable development[J]. Front. Earth Sci., 2019, 13(3): 464-477.
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Xuezhu CUI
Shaoying LI
Xuetong WANG
Xiaolong XUE
Variables Symbols Definitions/calculate method
Urban land use Y A measurement of urban construction land area that represents the urban land use scale and its growth, it is defined by the city build-up area (Zhang et al., 2011; Zhu et al., 2014)
X1 A measurement of the economic development of a city, it is usually quantified as GDP. The relationship between economic growth (GDP) and urban land use has been proven to exist (Cui, 2007)
Strength of foreign direct investment (FDI) X2 A measurement of the strength of FDI, it can be calculated by the proportion of the absolute values of FDI account to GDP (Gao et al., 2014)
Secondary industry development X3 One of the measurements of industry structure change in particular time intervals. It can be calculated by the proportion of the second industry as a share of GDP (Gu et al., 2009; Meng et al., 2011)
Tertiary industry development X4 One of the measurements of the industry structure change in particular time intervals. It can be calculated by the proportion of the tertiary industry as a share of GDP (Gu et al., 2009; Meng et al., 2011)
Population X5 A measurement of the urban population that reflects urban land demand during the urbanization process. Rural inhabitants choose to move to urban areas, causing an increase in the demand for urban land (Yuan, 2005)
Strength of fixed asset investment X6 A measurement of the fixed asset investment, it is one of the influencing factors that improves urban infrastructure and attracts population (Xu et al., 2006)
Urban rail transit development X7 A measurement of the public traffic in large cities, it is calculated by rail transit capacity. It can be considered an influencing factor that affects urban growth (Li and Yan, 2002; Aljoufie, 2014)
Government regulation on urban land use X8 A measurement of the government’s regulation on urban land use, it is calculated by the sales area of urban land (Cui et al., 2012; Bai et al., 2014)
Tab.1  Indexes of urban land use and its influencing factors
Fig.1  Administrative?district divisions of Guangzhou.
Fig.2  The urban build-up area and its changing rate in Guangzhou (1990?2013). Data source: China City?Statistical?Yearbook 1991?2014.
Fig.3  Spatial expansion of urban build-up land in Guangzhou 1990?2004. Data source: Aviation image data 1990?2004.
X1 X2 X3 X4 X5 X6 X7 X8
X1 1 0.931 ?0.914 0.909 0.964 0.994 0.971 ?0.316
X2 1 ?0.766 0.754 0.844 0.939 0.945 ?0.295
X3 1 ?0.997 ?0.964 ?0.902 ?0.842 0.331
X4 1 0.973 0.892 0.824 ?0.335
X5 1 0.944 0.884 ?0.344
X6 1 0.978 ?0.319
X7 1 ?0.315
X8 1
Tab.2  Correlation matrix of the influencing factors
Variable Component
Com-1 Com-2
X1 0.991 0.076
X2 0.916 0.082
X3 ?0.949 ?0.023
X4 0.943 0.016
X5 0.977 0.028
X6 0.986 0.073
X7 0.956 0.072
X8 ?0.387 0.921
% of Variance 82.503 10.912
Cumulative % 82.503 93.415
Tab.3  Component matrix of the original variables
Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t sig
B Std.error B
653.446 22.136 29.52 0.000**
Com-1 265.265 22.817 0.951 11.626 0.000**
Com-2 8.416 21.998 0.03 0.369 0.039*
Tab.4  Results of the PCA regression model with Com-1 and Com-2
Fig.4  Industry land use distribution in Guangzhou. Data source: Urban master planning of Guangzhou 2011?2020.
Fig.5  Foreign auto makers distribution in Guangzhou. Data source: Urban master planning of Guangzhou 2011?2020.
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