Changzhutan region in the north-central part of Hunan Province in China has
experienced a rapid urbanization in the past few decades that has led to
substantial changes in its environment. In 2007, the National Development and Reform
Commission of China designated the metropolitan district of Changsha City,
Zhuzhou City, and Xiangtan City of this region as the fourth National
Demonstration Area where economic development should be implemented in harmony
with resource-saving and environment-friendly land use practices. The research, focus of this article will be on
quantifying the spatial pattern of urban land use change which not only can
provide an assessments and predictions of future environmental effects, but also will serve as a scientific
basis for the development of urban sustainability. This paper integrates
historical Landsat TM imagery, geographical information system (GIS) and
socioeconomic data to determine the spatiotemporal urban land use dynamics and
conversion of land use in response to the rapid urbanization of a select group
of cities in China from 1990 to 2007. The approach is based on Principle
Component Analysis to determine and model the relationship between the
socioeconomic factors and land use/cover change (LUCC) for identifying the
driving forces. The results indicate that land cover of the Changzhutan region
mainly consists of forestland and cropland which accounted for about 93% of the
total land area. During the 1990-2007 study period, the urban areas and water
bodies increased by 46,297 ha and 775 ha, respectively, while forestland,
cropland, and grassland decreased appreciably by 22,580
ha, 21,808 ha, and 5618 ha, respectively. Moreover, the
urban land area during the 2000-2007 period increased by five times as much as
that during the 1990-2000 period. The land use dynamic degree of Changsha City
is the largest one followed by that for Xiangtan and Zhuzhou Cities. During
this study period, the land use comprehensive intensity index increased and
followed the sequence Xiangtan > Changsha> Zhuzhou. The changes were
attributed to economic development, population growth, infrastructure
improvements and construction, and land use policies. To address the negative
or eco-environmental deleterious effects of these changes, landscape ecology
plan, population growth control, and the development of an ecological friendly
agriculture were suggested.
Cite this paper
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