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# Analyzing land use structure efficiency with carbon emissions: A case study in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River, China

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... Efficiency research has always been an important topic. In recent years, scholars have mainly focused on the efficiency of land use, such as land use structure efficiency [5], cultivated land use efficiency [39,40], construction land efficiency [41], industrial land efficiency [42], and land-use efficiency in special areas [43,44], and have also conducted in-depth discussions. In general, for research on land-use efficiency, scholars have focused on the spatial heterogeneity and influencing factors and the combination of social and economic development, population growth, ecological environment constraints, and economic transformation [5]. ...
... In recent years, scholars have mainly focused on the efficiency of land use, such as land use structure efficiency [5], cultivated land use efficiency [39,40], construction land efficiency [41], industrial land efficiency [42], and land-use efficiency in special areas [43,44], and have also conducted in-depth discussions. In general, for research on land-use efficiency, scholars have focused on the spatial heterogeneity and influencing factors and the combination of social and economic development, population growth, ecological environment constraints, and economic transformation [5]. At the same time, many scholars have examined ecological efficiency [45][46][47][48][49][50], energy efficiency [51][52][53][54], carbon efficiency [55][56][57], water use efficiency [58,59], and green growth efficiency [60]. ...
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The efficient utilization and optimal allocation of natural capital play an important role in economic development and human well-being. The production process of natural capital is the input and output processing of its ecological resources and the environment. Improving the rural natural capital utilization efficiency (RNCUE) is an important goal of natural capital investment, and the efficient utilization of natural capital is an important factor for the efficient operation of the regional economy and society. This study uses the super slack-based measure (SBM) model based on undesirable outputs to measure the RNCUE, combines the exploratory data analysis method (ESDA) and spatial Markov transfer matrix to analyse the spatiotemporal evolution characteristics of efficiency, and analyses the influencing factors of the change of the RNCUE in Chongqing through a spatial econometric model. The results show that: (1) The RNCUE in Chongqing is still at a low level as a whole and there is a large space for efficiency improvement and efficient operation. There is a certain spatial dependence on the interaction of efficiency between adjacent districts and counties. (2) High-high agglomeration is concentrated in the western area of Chongqing One-hour Economic Circle, and low-low agglomeration is concentrated in Southeast and Northeast Chongqing. The probability of a large change in the RNCUE in consecutive years is small, and it is easy to form the phenomenon of “club convergence” in space. (3) The RNCUE in Chongqing has been affected by rainfall, temperature, NDVI, the per capita GDP, proportion of fixed asset investment, expenditure for agriculture, and proportion of primary industry and rural population. The influencing factors show that the spatial heterogeneity is significant. The RNCUE has a negative correlation with forest coverage and the expenditure for agriculture, is not significantly positive or negative with the proportion of the primary industry and is positively correlated with the rural population density. This study points out that we can improve the RNCUE in Chongqing by optimizing the spatial differentiation control mechanism, clarifying property rights, enhancing liquidity, and strengthening scientific and technological innovation.
... Ecological civilization is not the Chinese version of sustainable development However, understanding China's governance on sustainability, climate change and ecological 1 civilization is somewhat limited. Oversimplified policy options or implications such as plainly 2 emphasizing stricter environmental controls, avoiding heavy industries, and adopting more clean energy 3 contribute little to discussing China's atmospheric and climate governance and sustainability transition 4 (Li et al., 2020a). Research on the YREB has started and increased rapidly in the past five years, but our 5 knowledge on it as a cross-boundary, cross-level, and cross-sector sustainability experiment is rather 6 ...
... The carbon emission situation of the provinces in the middle reaches is 49 between that of the upper and lower reaches despite substantial differences within (Du et al., 2020). More 50 comparative studies are needed to figure out the governing strategies for different regions, especially for 51 middle reaches, e.g., whether a bottom-up approach or a consumption-based approach should be adopted 1 to address the differences of the regions within (Yang et al., 2020a). Moreover, some large sources of 2 emission are excluded in most prevailing models. ...
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China’s coal consumption has made up more than 70% of China’s energy assumption since 1978, and it accounts for approximately 21% of global carbon emissions in 2017. How China reach clean air targets, fulfill its commitment to reduce CO2 emission in the Paris Agreement, and achieve higher targets, such as peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero emission by 2060? A range of sustainability experiments have been conducted to support China in the sustainability transition. As the biggest one among them, the Yangtze River Economic Belt runs across the middle of the country from east to west, with an area of 2,050,000 km2 or 21.39% of China’s territory, and covers 11 provinces and cities. Although many studies have been conducted relevant to the Belt, few studies have described the research landscape, trends, and relevant topics of interest and gaps. To address this gap, we review, synthesize, and analyze the latest publications on the Belt and find environmental governance has been the key topic in current publications. Significantly, atmospheric and climate governance could be used as a lens to understand China’s environmental governance, human-environmental interactions and trade-offs between environmental protection and socio-economic development in the Belt. Based on this lens, we find that: I. current research on the Belt has started and increased rapidly in the past five years, but our knowledge on it as a cross-boundary, cross-level and cross-sector sustainability experiments is somewhat limited; II. distribution of risk and responsibility across different regions in atmospheric and climate governance has not been well-addressed; III. new carbon emission accounting methods, especially methods based on a consumption-based approach, could be adopted to offer more comprehensive and just understandings about sectoral differences and environmental benefits; IV. influence of topography and meteorology on ambient air quality in the Belt cannot be ignored and should be included by the following research; and V. trade-offs and competing interests among different actors should be recognized and balanced to facilitate sustainable industrial upgrading, innovation and transforming without compromising individual well-being and regional development.
... Carbon emissions can be direct or indirect (Ali et al., 2018). Direct carbon emissions mainly come from various activities related to land use, such as biological respiration, decomposition of soil organic matter, and agricultural sewage (Yang et al., 2020). Based on prior research results (Lai et al., 2016), the carbon emission coefficients of the five land use types are set as follows: farmland, 0.0422 kg/(m 2 .a); ...
... Therefore, compared with traditional DEA methods, SBM-UN can evaluate ULUE more deeply under the condition of low-carbon constraints. Assuming that there are n homogeneous DMUs in the SBM-UN model and all DMUs have three vectors: m inputs, z 1 desirable outputs, and z 2 undesirable outputs, the specific computational formula of DMU k is as follows (Yu et al., 2019;Yang et al., 2020): ...
Article
In the Urban Anthropocene, how to meet the demands of growing urban populations on limited urban land is a key global challenge. Unreasonable urban planning and land use has brought about undesirable consequences including huge carbon emissions. However, research on the spatial impact of urban form on urban land use efficiency (ULUE) under low-carbon emission constraints is limited. This study analyzes 91 cities located in China's Yellow River Basin (YRB). First, we define a new comprehensive indicator system to measure ULUE under low-carbon constraints using the SBM-UN model. We then select nine landscape indicators to quantify the sprawl, complexity, and aggregation of urban form. Finally, we use Spatial Durbin Model to reveal the relationship between urban form and ULUE. We find that carbon emissions in the YRB increased steadily during the study period. The average value of ULUE increased from 0.469 in 1994 to 0.772 in 2018. Efficiency improved most in the provinces of Shaanxi, Henan, Ningxia, and Shandong, with growth rates of 234.15%, 102.40%, 93.09%, and 66.24%, respectively. Positive global Moran's I indices suggest that the spatial distribution of ULUE is positively correlated at basin level. Moreover, urban form metrics in the YRB demonstrated significant regional differences from 1994 to 2018. The regression results showed irregular urban form can negatively impact ULUE while compact and aggregated urban forms can improve ULUE under low carbon constrains. In addition, there are both positive and negative correlations between urban sprawl and ULUE in different regions. Today's choices on urban form can restrict the development pattern of cities and lock in pathways of carbon emissions in the future. Based on the findings in this study, the government should pursue optimal city sizes, avoid scattered patterns and aim for compact urban form.
... Rapid urbanisation has intensified the evolution of the regional landuse structure globally, which has inevitably affected the changes in regional natural geographical environments and sustainable development of land-use systems (Fu et al., 2021;Foley et al., 2005;Liu et al., 2020;Malek and Verburg, 2020;. Disordered land-use systems would lead to a series of issues, including inefficient land use, land degradation, and biodiversity loss (He et al., 2020;Xu et al., 2020;Yang et al., 2020). Land-use systems are orderly dissipative structures, and ideal land-use systems are considered to be increasingly orderly; their entropy value represents the degree of disorder in land-use structures, which gradually decreases with time (He et al., 2007;Wang and Wang, 2018). ...
... Information entropy of land-use structure (IELUS) is a commonly used index to measure the order degree of a regional land-use system and determine its evolutionary direction (Fan et al., 2019;Schulz et al., 2017;Velázquez et al., 2018). Previous studies have reported that the regional IELUS exhibits a tendency to first increase and then decrease, or even decrease or increase continuously (Guo et al., 2019;He et al., 2020;Huang et al., 2016;Wang and Wang, 2018;Yang et al., 2020;Xu and Lei, 2018;Xu et al., 2020). However, the reason and mechanism for these trends are yet to be revealed. ...
Article
Evidence on the influence of urbanisation on land-use structure in China can provide a scientific basis for sustainable land-use and ecological protection. However, previous studies have not completely explained the mechanisms of land-use structure change during rapid urbanisation. To address this gap, in the present study, the land-use intensity and information entropy of land-use structure from 1980 to 2020 were measured to represent urbanisation level and land-use structure for the corresponding period using land-use/cover datasets in China. The impact of urbanisation on the information entropy of land-use structure was analysed from multiple perspectives based on a set of panel regression models. The results showed that the land-use intensity in China presented a continuously increasing trend, whereas information entropy of land-use structure exhibited an increasing and then decreasing tendency during the study period. There was a significant spatial dependence between land-use intensity and information entropy of land-use structure in China, as indicated by the inverted U-shaped curve. We found that the higher the economic development level, the greater the threshold values. In addition, a 1% increase in land-use intensity in a region with a better economic development level might lead to a greater increase in the information entropy of land-use structure. The findings of this study indicated that a combination of cross-regional collaborative governance and differentiated management strategies is effective in optimising land-use structure during rapid urbanisation in China and other countries.
... Specifically, construction land and farmland are the main carbon sources. Forests, grasslands, wetlands and unused land are considered carbon sinks (Miao et al., 2019;Yang et al., 2020;Zhu et al., 2019). Current researchers' determination of carbon emissions is mostly based on the carbon emission coefficient suggested by IPCC, or determine the carbon emission coefficient according to the national carbon emission inventory (Lai et al., 2016;Wu et al., 2021). ...
Article
Watershed carbon compensation can not only reduce carbon emissions but also promote regional coordinated development. Although existing studies have shown that carbon compensation can act as a mechanism to balance regional development and conservation goals, there is relatively little knowledge about carbon compensation taking land use change into consideration. This study, building on the theoretical framework of watershed carbon compensation, calculates the carbon emissions based on land use change in the Yangtze River Economic Belt, analyses its spatial differentiation and constructs a carbon compensation model. The results show that from 1990 to 2018, carbon emissions from land use have almost quadrupled, from 1.74 × 10 8 tons to 6.76 × 10 8 tons. Cities with high carbon emissions from land use are concentrated in economically developed downstream areas or mid-upstream urban agglomerations. As for carbon compensation, the total amount of it in Yangtze River Economic Belt has gradually increased over the past 29 years. Spatially in 2018, the upstream area received 1.31 × 10 8 tons of carbon compensation, the midstream area received 5.40 × 10 7 tons and the downstream area provided 2.83 × 10 8 tons. Furthermore, this study discusses reduction measures of carbon emission in watershed based on the optimisation of land use patterns, and horizontal and vertical watershed carbon compensation. It suggests the conditions and paths of watershed carbon compensation based on land use change from the four perspectives of socioeconomic foundation, institutional environment, governance structure and resource allocation.
... Starting in the mid-1990s China has launched different land consolidation projects that target the development and consolidation of scarred land for supplementing cultivated land as well as the integration of field, water, roads, forest, and village that finally leads the overall development of urban and rural areas. The previous emphasis of enlarging the area of cultivable land is transformed to wide-ranging management containing quantity control, quality management, and ecological management Yan et al. (2015), Yang et al. (2020). In China land consolidation should be divided into four stages: national, provincial, municipal, and county level as shown in Figure 1. ...
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The main challenge of agriculture is to ensure food security in line with yield increases and minimize environmental costs due to complex interactions between social, economic, and ecological factors. Here we review to identify the impacts of socioeconomic factors on crop production efficiency between China and Ethiopia. To set the economic reform and improve the grain yields in rural China, a series of policies on land reforms from communal systems to tax cancelation and subsidies have been implemented. Similar to China, Ethiopia has also experienced different types of land reform from landlord and peasant structure to land as the common property of nations, nationalities, and peoples of Ethiopia. The Gross Domestic Products per capita trends which represent the mean standard of leaving of residents in a country show almost similar growth in the 1980s while later significant variation was achieved between the two countries. It is suggested that to meet food security and increase agricultural efficiency in Ethiopia better infrastructure development that meets socioeconomic demands should be prioritized while in China policies to reduce fertilizer inputs are highly recommended to minimize the environmental costs due to high agricultural inputs for sustainable agriculture growth.
... Lunyolo et al. (2020) described the complex relationship between LUCC, climate extremes, and food systems and proposed that enforcing effective policies would generate positive ecological effects. Others have explored the relationship between land use structure and emission intensity at different scales (Mi et al., 2016;Chen et al., 2018;Yang et al., 2020). The above studies mainly concentrated on the interaction between LUCC and ecosystem services, but more studies need to be designed and conducted to quantitatively evaluate the impacts of LUCC on terrestrial carbon dynamics. ...
Article
Achieving well-being for all, while mitigating climate change, is a central idea in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and one of the most pressing global challenges. Land use and land cover change are affecting the global and regional climate change through the carbon emissions. Meanwhile, carbon sequestration could replenish and contribute to the decrease of CO2 emissions. Rapid urbanized areas have typical urbanized characteristics and carbon reduction target. Therefore, it is a vital issue to explore the carbon sequestration in rapid urbanized area. This paper analyzed the mechanism between carbon sequestration and land use and land cover change in Shanghai city. Based on the Landsat TM/ETM images from 1990 to 2015 and using the InVEST model, we assessed the temporal and spatial variations of carbon sequestration in response to the expansion of built-up areas and obtained a reliable estimate of terrestrial carbon sequestration at 30 m × 30 m grid scale, including biomass and soil carbon stocks. The results show that the total carbon stock decreased by 73.19 × 10⁵ t during the period 1990–2015, representing 0.48% per year. The urbanization process in response to land use and land cover change has significant negative impacts on carbon sequestration capacity in the urban ecosystem. According to these results, some potential policy measures are proposed for mitigating terrestrial carbon losses for Shanghai, which are mainly manifested in adaptive management for carbon sequestration, contributing to achieve SGDs and sustainable development.
... Land use efficiency is an important indicator measuring the sustainable development of society, economy and ecology (Masini et al., 2019;Yang et al., 2020). The imbalance between land resource development and environmental protection will restrict economic growth and the benefits of land use change (Yang et al., 2017). ...
Article
Land resources are not only the spatial carriers of social and economic development, but also the carriers of environmental and ecological services. With the accelerated urbanization, the non-coordinated development of land resources and environmental protection will restrict economic growth and the benefits of land use changes. Moreover, the economic efficiency and environmental efficiency of land use largely depend on the value judgment of the decision makers on the future human environment. Therefore, it is extremely important to achieve a win–win outcome of land development and ecological protection. In this research, a new analysis framework for land use efficiency was proposed from the perspective of decision makers' different benefit preferences. This framework uses the unexpected output of environmental pollution as a bridge to build a two-stage data envelopment analysis (DEA) model to evaluate the economic efficiency, environmental efficiency and overall efficiency of land development, and weight parameters were constructed to express decision-makers' preferences. The model not only considers the objectivity of the scores of land use efficiency, but also guarantees the subjectivity of decision-makers in land use management. This is also the biggest difference between previous studies in this study. The specific conclusions are: (I) as decision makers tend to focus on economic benefits, economic efficiency first rises and then declines. It can be seen that ignoring the problem of environmental pollution will reduce economic efficiency. (II) Generally speaking, the efficiency of compact land development (0.883) in various counties and cities in Taiwan is greater than the efficiency of expanded land development (0.737). This research can provide guidance on the distribution of land resources and the development of land space on a macro-regional scale.
... In order to develop the economy, the utilization and planning of land, especially built-up land, will indirectly generate carbon emissions. These emissions can be estimated by the carbon emission coefficient of energy consumption [43,45]. Therefore, this study uses the indirect E LUC method to calculate carbon emissions [20]. ...
Article
Carbon emissions from land use (ELUC) are an important part of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, but its size and location remain uncertain, and our knowledge of the relationship between ELUC and GDP remains partial. We showed that the carbon emissions directly caused by land use change (direct ELUC) during 1992-2015 was 26.54 Pg C (1.15 Pg C yr⁻¹), with a decreased trend and a net reduction rate of −0.15 Pg C yr⁻¹. The areas that exhibited reductions were concentrated in South America, Central Africa, and Southeast Asia, and those with increments were scattered in Northwestern North America, Eastern South America, Central Africa, East Asia, and parts of Southeast Asia. For the indirect carbon emissions from the utilization of built-up land (indirect ELUC), it manifested an upward trend with a total emission of 23.51 Pg C (1.2 Pg C yr⁻¹). The total value resulted by global ELUC was $136.3 × 10⁹ US, and the value of annual was equivalent to 3.7 times the GDP of the Central African Republic in 2015 ($5.93 × 10⁹ US yr⁻¹). Among the 79 countries and regions considered in this study, 54 represented the upward GDP with increased emissions, and only 25 experienced GDP growth with emission reductions. These findings highlight the pivotal role of land use change in the carbon cycle and the significance of coordinated development between GDP and carbon emissions.
... However, with the increased industrialization and urbanization, changes in the land-use patterns are causing increased carbon emissions . Therefore, the carbon emission trend associated with land use under each SSP was estimated (Yang et al. 2020; Cao and Yuan 2019) using the following equation: ...
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Land-use change is a crucial driver for achieving a sustainable future. However, the uncertainties of socioeconomic development could lead to different changes in the future land-use patterns. Using a spatial downscaling framework, this study aims to explore possible land-use patterns that can help achieve sustainable development in the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area, China (the Greater Bay Area). The framework combines the global Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) scenarios with local land planning policies to model land-use changes. First, the Land Change Modeler was used to analyze the land-use changes from 2000 to 2010 and build transition potential submodels each of which demonstrates transition potential of different land-use classes. Second, future projections were made for the “business-as-usual” scenario and five localized SSP scenarios that were downscaled from global scenarios and modified based on the local land planning policy. Hong Kong was considered a typical case in the Greater Bay Area that could be used to demonstrate the application of the projected land-use maps by comparing the biocapacity and ecological footprint and estimating the carbon emissions associated with land use. The results of the future projections of land use made under six future scenarios indicated that there is a significant expansion in the urban area under all the scenarios, with varying degrees of decrease in cropland and forest among the different scenarios. Moreover, a land-use change also led to the change in local biocapacity and carbon emissions. Our analysis indicated that in achieving sustainable development not only urban area and cropland should be involved for consideration but should also cover the balance between all land-use classes, and three policy implications were proposed based on our findings.
... The results of this study show that land resource mismatches increase the pollution emission intensity of enterprises by causing overinvestment and restraining production efficiency. The positive relationship between land resources and pollution emissions is consistent with previous studies (Cohn et al., 2014;Hong et al., 2021), which verify that land mismatch and overuse may lead to more pollution emissions from the perspective of land use patterns (Lin et al., 2021;Popp et al., 2012), land allocation efficiency (Bryan et al., 2015;Yang et al., 2020) and land use in the process of urbanization (Zhang and Xu, 2017). This study evaluates the impact of land resource mismatch on pollution emissions and provides empirical evidence and useful references for the governance of resource misallocation and environmental pollution. ...
Article
Local governments’ strategy of increasing the land supply by selling industrial land at low prices causes industrial land in China to be priced substantially below the market value. Whether under planned or market allocation, urban land is an important part of China’s market-oriented economic reform. However, direct empirical research on the impact of industrial land transfer on environmental pollution is still lacking. Based on matched data, this study investigates the impact of land resource mismatch and land marketization on the pollution emissions of Chinese enterprises. Pollution emissions refer to the emission intensity of industrial enterprises’ major pollutants, such as industrial water, industrial waste gas and sulfur dioxide, and it is calculated by the comprehensive index method. The impact of land resource mismatch and land marketization on the pollution emissions of Chinese enterprises is investigated using a panel fixed effect model, subsample regression, the instrumental variable method and a mediating effect model. The benchmark analysis shows that land resource mismatch increases pollution emissions. The influence mechanism analysis shows that land resource mismatch may increase the pollution emissions of enterprises by causing overinvestment and low productivity. In addition, the expanded analysis shows that China’s land marketization can reduce the intensity of and have a long-term impact on the pollution emissions of enterprises. This paper provides a theoretical and scientific basis for correcting the mismatch of land resources and promoting the reform of land marketization in China.
... It includes the Hanjiang River Basin (HRB), the Dongting Lake Rivers Basin (DLRB), and various plains, hills, and mountains [37] (Figure 1). It is in the southern part of central China, spanning the three provinces of Hubei, Hunan, and Jiangxi, with 927 km and 679,000 km 2 , accounting, respectively, for 14.7% of the total YRB length and 37.6% of the entire area [38]. Various urban agglomerations have formed new growth points for economic development in China [39]. ...
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Ecological environment quality is a long-term continuous concept that is affected by various environmental factors. Its assessment has important implications for implementing the planning and protection of dynamic regional ecosystems. Therefore, this study attempted to obtain these indicators (green, dry, wet, heat) through the Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform, and then coupled the ecological environment quality index in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River Basin (MYRB) between 2000 and 2019, based on the remote sensing ecological index (RSEI). The major results show that: (1) changes in the four indicators in summer were more obvious than those in winter, and the changes were concentrated in the central and northern regions of the MYRB; (2) both the modified normalized difference water index (MNDWI) and normalized differential build-up and bare soil index (NDBI) in summer and winter have higher weighting ratios, implying that water body changes and human activities had a greater impact on the ecological environment; and (3) ecological environment quality in the MYRB between 2000 and 2019 was relatively flat. The ecological conditions began to deteriorate in 2008, and substantial ecological degradation was noted in some areas between 2008 and 2019 (18.7% in the central region, 16.0% in the eastern region). The MYRB has an important position in the Yangtze River economic belt and is an important part of the Yangtze River protection. This research could provide a theoretical basis and decision support for the development and protection of the Yangtze River Basin (YRB) green economy.
... Land is the fundamental resource for human survival and development by providing essential goods and services, such as food production, conservation of water and soil, climate regulation, environmental cleaning [1][2][3]. However, there is a limited supply of land, therefore humans must intensely utilize land resources [4,5]. Particularly, the paradoxof limited land resources and a large population has become increasingly evident in China [6,7]. ...
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Land resource allocation efficiency (LRAE) is a significant indicator in weighing regional socioeconomic development. The study of LRAE can provide useful references for optimizing the layout of rural land use and conducting village planning against the background of rural revitalization strategy. Taking Fang County of Hubei Province as an example, we constructed an efficiency measurement index system based on economic, social, and ecological objectives. The slack-based measure with undesirable output (SBM-Undesirable) model and geodetector model were used to evaluate the rural LRAE, influencing factors and optimization paths from 2011 to 2017. The results suggest that: (1) the rural LRAE in Fang County shows a steady upward trend, with an average increasing rate of 9.204%. The townships in the north and south of the study area have a low LRAE value, and townships in the central area have a high LRAE value. The number of villages at low or medium-low LRAE is decreasing, and the number of villages with medium-high or high LRAE continued to increase from 2011 to 2017. (2) The spatial variation in LRAE in Fang County is affected by physical geography conditions, rural development conditions, and urban-rural relations. The impact of the proportion of primary industry and rural population has always been influential on the LRAE. Physical geography conditions have a relatively strong impact on the LRAE, but their values are decreasing. The influences of the Engel coefficient, urbanization rate and gap between the rural and urban resident’s income have been continuously enhanced. (3) All land types have obvious input redundancies, and reducing these redundancies can help achieve the optimal allocation of rural land resources. In the future, it is of significance to prioritize low-carbon and green developments, and to promote sustainable rural development.
... Starting in the mid-1990s China has launched different land consolidation projects that target the development and consolidation of scarred land for supplementing cultivated land as well as the integration of field, water, roads, forest, and village that finally leads the overall development of urban and rural areas. The previous emphasis of enlarging the area of cultivable land is transformed to wide-ranging management containing quantity control, quality management, and ecological management Yan et al. (2015), Yang et al. (2020). In China land consolidation should be divided into four stages: national, provincial, municipal, and county level as shown in Figure 1. ...
Article
Full-text available
The main challenge of agriculture is to ensure food security in line with yield increases and minimize environmental costs due to complex interactions between social, economic, and ecological factors. Here we review to identify the impacts of socio-economic factors on crop production efficiency between China and Ethiopia. To set the economic reform and improve the grain yields in rural China, a series of policies on land reforms from communal systems to tax cancelation and subsidies have been implemented. Similar to China, Ethiopia has also experienced different types of land reform from landlord and peasant structure to land as the common property of nations, nationalities, and peoples of Ethiopia. The Gross Domestic Products per capita trends which represent the mean standard of leaving of residents in a country show almost similar growth in the 1980s while later significant variation was achieved between the two countries. It is suggested that to meet food security and increase agricultural efficiency in Ethiopia better infrastructure development that meets socio-economic demands should be prioritized while in China policies to reduce fertilizer inputs are highly recommended to minimize the environmental costs due to high agricultural inputs for sustainable agriculture growth.
... Based on the multi-functional characteristics of cultivated land use in the YRB, the calculation model of CEE in the YRB was constructed using the DEA method, which has (Xia et al., 2017) the advantage of analyzing the relative efficiency under multiple inputs and outputs (Chen et al., 2016;Yang et al., 2020). Currently, commonly used DEA models include the Charnes, Cooper, and Rhodes (CCR) model and the BCC model. ...
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Considering the current global goal of carbon neutrality, the relationship between cultivated land intensive use (CLIU) and carbon emission efficiency (CEE) should be explored to address the global climate crisis and move toward a low-carbon future. However, previous work in this has been conducted at provincial/regional scales and few have identified the spatial correlation between CLIU and CEE at the scale of large river basins. Therefore, this study explored the spatiotemporal characteristics of CLIU, cultivated land carbon emissions (CLCE), and CEE, as well as the spatial correlation between CLIU and CEE in the Yellow River Basin (YRB), China. A comprehensive evaluation model, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) coefficient methodology, existing data envelopment analysis model, and bivariate spatial autocorrelation models were used to analyze statistical data from 2005 to 2017. We found that the overall CLIU and CLCE values in the YRB exhibited a continuous increase; the average carbon emission total efficiency and carbon emission scale efficiency first decreased and then increased, and the average carbon emission pure technical efficiency gradually decreased. Areas of high CLCE were concentrated in eastern areas of the YRB, whereas those of high CLIU, carbon emission total efficiency, carbon emission scale efficiency, and carbon emission pure technical efficiency predominantly appeared in the eastern areas, followed by central and western areas of the YRB. Spatial analysis revealed a significant spatial dependence of CLIU on CEE. From a global perspective, the spatial correlations between CLIU and CEE changed from positive to negative with time. Moreover, the aggregation degree between CLIU and CEE gradually decreases with time, while the dispersion degree increases with time, and the spatial correlation gradually weakens. The local spatial autocorrelation further demonstrates that the number of high-low and low-high clusters between CLIU and CEE gradually increases over time, while the number of high-high and low-low clusters gradually decreased over time. Collectively, these findings can help policymakers formulate feasible low-carbon and efficient CLIU policies to promote win-win cooperation among regions.
... As a result, an increasing number of scholars have recently started to conduct researches on carbon emissions and attempted to reach the carbon emission mitigation goal from the perspective of land use (Ahmad et al. 2021;Baldassini et al. 2020;Wang et al. 2019;Yu et al. 2019). As the largest carbon emissions contributor, China faces a huge emission abatement task (Lai et al. 2016;Li et al. 2020;Yang et al. 2020a;Zhang and Xu 2017); however, it has made many emission mitigation commitments on various international occasions. A large number of relative studies have been conducted on China's carbon emission, and these studies have reached numerous research achievements (Chang et al. 2019;Chen et al. 2007;Li et al. 2021;Liu et al. 2015). ...
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Land carbon emissions are primarily determined by land use type, and these emissions could be transferred during interprovincial trade activities. This study took Jiangsu in China as a case, assigned all the energy-related carbon emissions to land, and analyzed the transferred land use carbon emissions through the application of a tele-coupling framework. Finally, the physical spatial distribution of transferred land use carbon emissions within Jiangsu at high resolution was simulated. China and Jiangsu emitted 2.27 × 10⁹ t and 1.43 × 10⁸ t of carbon in 2012, respectively, with industrial and mining land being the biggest emission source, generating more than 70% of their total emissions. Overall, Jiangsu’s net carbon emissions transferred to other provinces was 2.41 × 10⁶ t in urban land and 9.03 × 10⁵ t in industrial and mining land, and these carbon emissions were mainly transferred to Hebei, Shandong, and Inner Mongolia. Land utilization intensity and economic development influenced the carbon emission transfer to some extent. Other provinces also transferred a large amount of carbon emissions to Jiangsu, of which 2.57 × 10⁶ t was in urban land and 3.18 × 10⁷ t was in industrial and mining land. Our simulation showed that the emissions in both land use types exhibited a south-north difference within Jiangsu; more specifically, urban land carbon emissions were mainly concentrated in core urban areas, especially in Suzhou, Wuxi, and Nanjing, whereas industrial and mining land carbon emissions were mostly distributed in the periphery of core urban areas and along the Yangtze River. To balance economic development and environment protection, the government must limit the expansion of construction land (especially industrial and mining land), and developed regions should implement various types of ecological compensation measures to help less developed regions reduce carbon embodied in trade activities.
... For example, Kuang et al. (2020) included carbon emissions resulting from cultivated land use into the measurement framework of the efficiency of cultivated land use and systematically analyzed the cultivated land use efficiency of 31 provinces in China from 2000 to 2017. Yang et al. (2020) treated carbon emissions as an "undesirable output" in their analysis of the land use structure efficiency of the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River. With the deepening of such research, scholars have begun to explore the specific relationship between land use efficiency and carbon emissions. ...
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Research on construction land use efficiency with carbon emissions provides valuable insights for effective regulation of land use planning and low-carbon development. This study explores construction land use efficiency (CLUE) in China and the USA by employing a slack-based measure (SBM) that incorporates carbon emissions as undesirable output to evaluate CLUE at the provincial/state level. The abatement potential (AP) of construction land use and carbon emissions through the land utilization process are further explored. We find (1) that the average CLUE in China (0.512) is relatively higher than that in the USA, but the CLUE in both countries is at a relatively low level; (2) that carbon emissions, as undesirable output, have a negative impact on CLUE; and (3) that the average AP for construction land is 0.485 in China and 0.696 in the USA, while the average AP for carbon emissions is 0.500 in China and 0.576 in the USA. Understanding these characteristics can lead to better coordination of emissions reduction policies and land use policies to optimize the construction land inputs in both countries, thereby sustaining land use management while reducing carbon emission.
... Similarly, other crucial development goals relevant to environmental degradation and pollution, climate change, clean energy, low energy consumption per capita are akin to inadequate funding, income inequality, extreme levels of poverty and weak financial systems (Tamazian et al., 2009;Piñeiro Chousa et al., 2017;Akinyemi et al., 2019;Asongu and Odhiambo, 2019a, b;Nathaniel and Iheonu, 2019;Asongu et al., 2020;Joshua and Alola, 2020;Nathaniel and Bekun, 2021). Other researchers (Giglio et al., 2021;Yang et al., 2020; expound on these areas by assessing the impact of income inequality and financial instability on CO 2 emissions in the presence of fossil fuel energy, economic development and industrialization. There has been a growing concern for environmental degradation and energy shortage, mostly prevalent in developing countries. ...
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Purpose This study provides the critical masses (thresholds) at which the positive incidence of finance and economic growth will be dampened by the negative effects of income inequality and poverty on energy consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa for policy direction. Design/methodology/approach The study employed the two steps systems GMM estimator for 41 countries in Africa from 2005–2020. Findings The study found that for finance to maintain a positive effect on energy consumption per capita, the critical thresholds for the income inequality indicators (Atkinson coefficient, Gini index and the Palma ratio) should not exceed 0.681, 0.582 and 5.991, respectively. Similarly, for economic growth (GDP per capita growth) to maintain a positive effect on energy consumption per capita, the critical thresholds for the income inequality indicators (Atkinson coefficient, Gini index and the Palma ratio) should not exceed 0.669, 0.568 and 6.110, respectively. On the poverty level in Sub-Saharan Africa, the study reports that the poverty headcount ratios (hc$144ppp2011, hc$186ppp2011 and hc$250ppp2005) should not exceed 7.342, 28.278 and 129.332, respectively for financial development to maintain a positive effect on energy consumption per capita. The study also confirms the positive nexus between access to finance (financial development) and energy consumption per capita, with the attending adverse effect on CO 2 emissions inescapable. The findings of this study make it evidently clear, for policy recommendation that finance is at the micro-foundation of economic growth, income inequality and poverty alleviation. However, a maximum threshold of income inequality and poverty headcount ratios as indicated in this study must be maintained to attain the full positive ramifications of financial development and economic growth on energy consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa. Originality/value The originality of this study is found in the computation of the threshold and net effects of poverty and income inequality in economic growth through the conditional and unconditional effects of finance. ... First, we focused on the impact of different land use types on carbon emissions, including industrial land [19], cultivated land [18,20], and urban land [21,22]. Subsequently, we investigated the impact of land use structures [23,24], land use change [8], the urban expansion process [21], and urban agglomeration spatial structures [25]. Although current research explores the influence of urban construction on carbon emissions, few studies analyze the corresponding effects of agricultural production; therefore, the literature is missing horizontal contrasts between the two types of spaces. ... Article Full-text available Space utilization and climate change are related to human survival and development. Identifying the relationship between development and conservation is the foundation of sustainable development. We used the kernel density curve, spatial analysis, and the sensitivity model to study the spatial use efficiency and carbon emissions evolution characteristics at the provincial and regional levels in China from 1999 to 2019. The results show that a trend of high efficiency and low carbon emissions in southeast coastal cities and towns is gradually forming, and agricultural spaces are moving toward high efficiency and high carbon emissions patterns. The evolution paths of space utilization efficiency and carbon emissions differ significantly across spaces and regions. We also found similarities in how carbon emissions intensity responds to changes in spatial utilization efficiency in the Yangtze and Yellow River basin urban agglomeration. The study provides practical suggestions for the high-quality development of territorial space, ecological environment management, and sustainable development in light of spatiotemporal changes. ... It includes the Hanjiang River Basin (HRB), the Dongting Lake Rivers Basin (DLRB), and various plains, hills, and mountains [37] (Figure 1). It is in the southern part of central China, spanning the three provinces of Hubei, Hunan, and Jiangxi, with 927 km and 679,000 km 2 , accounting, respectively, for 14.7% of the total YRB length and 37.6% of the entire area [38]. Various urban agglomerations have formed new growth points for economic development in China [39]. ... Article In consideration of energy and environmental inefficiency brought about by urban construction, sustainable urbanization has become a hot issue in recent years. In the process of land urbanization, the source of economic growth can be attributed to technical progress and efficiency improvement. To explore the driving factors of land urbanization efficiency and its dynamic changes, the total factor productivity (TFP) and its components of land urbanization was introduced. The spatial-temporal variations of land urbanization of Chengyu urban agglomeration in Western China were estimated by using the Malmquist-Luenberger (ML) productivity index with undesirable output in this study. Results demonstrate that: (1) the average TFP of land urbanization (LUTFP) of Chengyu urban agglomeration in China over time with carbon emissions (1.029) is 1.2 percent lower than that without carbon emissions (1.041). Furthermore, the LUTFP with CO2 emissions is lower than the LUTFP without CO2, demonstrating that land urbanization generates social and economic benefits at the cost of resource consumption. (2) LUTFP of Chengyu urban agglomeration under carbon emission constraints presents a generally rising trend in the past ten years and technical progress is the major source of such growth. Efficiency has become a major barrier against the improvement of productivity. (3) LUTFP indexes in Chongqing City and Chengdu plain economic region are generally higher than those of the south and northeast Sichuan economic zones. However, LUTFP of different cities tends to be in equilibrium gradually. Article The digital transformation of heavy metal-related enterprises is the only way to improve the ecological capacity of river basins. This study explores the coupling relationship between heavy metal carrying capacity and enterprise digital transformation degree in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River urban agglomeration in 2019. Water quality simulation and data mining techniques were used to construct the material balance linear model-GIS ecological capacity evaluation framework based on ecological capacity theory. Fuzzy DEMATEL (Decision-making and Trial Evaluation Laboratory) and state space model methods were used to analyze the spatial heterogeneity of enterprises' digital transformation degree. The coupling characteristics of heavy metal ecological capacity and enterprise digital transformation degree in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River were obtained by coupling the coordination degree and obstacle degree model. The main conclusions are as follows. (1) The overall environmental capacity of heavy metals shows a spatial pattern of decreasing from the center of the Wuhan urban agglomeration to the surrounding areas. (2) The areas with a high degree of enterprise digital transformation are mainly concentrated in southern Anhui Province, eastern Jiangxi Province and the Dongting Lake Economic circle; in contrast, the areas with a low degree are mainly distributed in northern Anhui Province, central and eastern Hubei Province and southern Hunan Province. (3) On the whole, the coupling degree of heavy metal ecological capacity and enterprise digital transformation has obvious spatial differentiation. High (the degree of ecological carrying capacity)-high (the degree of digital transformation of heavy metal enterprises), high-low, low-high and low-low accounted for 24.48%, 47.1%, 18.47% and 9.95% of the total study area, respectively. The ecological carrying capacity of the river basin was highly related to the development stage of the digital transformation of heavy metal enterprises, and the two have a significant degree of coupling. Article Land development poses challenges to the sustainable use of resources and environmental health in regions. This study explores the coupling relationship and its spatial-temporal evolution trend between land development intensity and resources environment carrying capacity of 31 provinces in China from 2005 to 2017. The information entropy method, coupling degree model, and coupling coordination degree model are used to calculate the index weight, coupling degree, and coupling coordination degree. The results show that: (1) Three change types of resources environment carrying capacity are presented with land development intensity increasing: first decrease and then increase; first increase and then decrease; and alternating fluctuations. (2) The proportion of construction land, GDP per land, and population density are dominate determinants of land development intensity, while the water resources per capita, energy consumption per unit of GDP, and per capita cultivated land area are that of resources environment carrying capacity. (3) From the perspective of temporal evolution, both coupling and coordination relationship were found to have continuously strengthened. (4) In terms of spatial evolution, the coupling level presented a constantly narrowing inter-regional gap, and the coordination level has changed from initial two-level differentiation to final regional gap narrowing. These findings can provide evidence in support for integrating land development with resources environmental protection to promote regional coordinated development. Article Local governments are faced with ‘financial’ and ‘political’ double‐pressure to attract business investment with the low‐price industrial land in China. This study tests the effect of industrial land allocation strategy on local tax and employment using the Driscoll‐Kraay (D‐K) standard error fixed‐effect model in different stages. The empirical results indicate that the taxation and employment‐pulling effects are still effective in the full‐sample model. However, in the stage of rapid economic development (2007–2012), the interaction term coefficient between industrial land scale and price is –0.026 and is significant at 5% level. This result suggests that the low‐price and large‐scale industrial land allocation strategies of local governments have a significant impact on the tax. For every 1% decrease in industrial land price, the regional employment growth is 0.071%. In the structure transformation stage (2013–2019), the industrial land scale can influence increasing local taxation. The effectiveness of local government industrial land allocation strategy on regional employment is weakened. Article Collaborative governance between ecological environment and climate change is a novel signature in China’s policy agenda. However, such coordination remains understudied, especially at the local level. Using the principal component analysis, entropy evaluation methods, and the Coupling Coordination Degree Model (CCDM), we evaluated the level of coordination between carbon and air quality mitigation from 34 low-carbon pilot cities in China. We also illustrated the mechanism and policy formation that leads to different coupling patterns at the local level using three case studies. We found that most pilot cities perform a medium level of coupling coordination between low carbon development and air quality. The result reveals that most low-carbon pilot cities score relatively well in low-carbon development. Further, there is a significant cleavage in air quality between cities in the North and those in the South, indicating pilot cities in the South coordinate better than those in the North. In particular, pilot programs in the Southwest and Southeast coastal region perform well in collaborative governance, while the Beijing−Tianjin−Hebei region is rated poorly because of the gap between air quality and low carbon development. Also, we found that the same low-carbon policy might have heterogeneous effects on different air pollutants and across different regions. The local government should adopt low-carbon development policies that address local level specific environmental and economic conditions to maximize their air pollution mitigation benefits. Article Rapid urbanization in China has worsened the sustainable utilization of limited cultivated land resources, which seriously threatens food security and ecological security. To realize maximum benefits and minimize environmental pollution, the eco-efficiency of cultivated land utilization (ECLU) is becoming a vital indicator in weighing the rationality of regional land use. However, conceptualization of the ECLU remains lacking, while assessments of this indicator are still incomplete. This lack of information may inhibit planning guideline for the sustainable development of cultivated land resources. Thus, this study attempts to fill this gap by customizing a new conceptual index system for the ECLU and measuring it using the slack-based measure with undesirable output (SBM-Undesirable) model in the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) during the period 2001–2018. Spatial econometric models were used to further analyze the influencing factors of the ECLU. The average ECLU value in the YREB declined from 2001 to 2004, and then rapidly trended upward in 2005–2018. The lower reaches had the highest efficiency, followed by the middle and upper reaches, with respective values of 0.494, 0.628, and 0.683. The spatial–temporal pattern of the ECLU reveals that the number of areas with low and medium-low efficiency decreased gradually, while the number of areas with medium-high and high efficiency increased continuously. The magnitude and direction of influencing factors indicates that socioeconomic development level, agricultural science and technology investments, carbon emission reducing, and agricultural pollution control could effectively improve the ECLU. These findings have important implications for promoting high-efficient, low-carbon utilization of cultivated land resources and sustainable regional development in China. Article Full-text available The construction and operation of high-speed rail (HSR) has become an important policy for China to achieve efficiency and fairness and promote high-quality economic growth. HSR promotes the flow of production factors such as labor and capital and affects economic growth, and may further affect urban land use efficiency (ULUE). To explore the impact of HSR on ULUE, this paper uses panel data of 284 cities in China from 2005 to 2018, and constructs Propensity Score Matching-Differences in Differences model to evaluate the effect of HSR on ULUE. The result of entire China demonstrates that the HSR could significantly improves the ULUE. Meanwhile, this paper also considers the heterogeneity of results caused by geographic location, urban levels and scales. It demonstrates that the HSR has a significantly positive effect on ULUE of Eastern, Central China, and large-sized cities. However, in Western China, in medium-sized, and small-sized cities, the impact of HSR on ULUE is not significant. This paper concludes that construction and operation of HSR should be linked to urban development planning and land use planning. Meanwhile, the cities with different geographical locations and scales should take advantage of HSR to improve ULUE and promote urban coordinated development. Article Full-text available Land use/cover change (LUCC) has been identified as a crucial driver of changes in the spatiotemporal distribution of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. However, few studies have proposed land use optimization to identify key zones for launching ecological engineering projects. Adopting multi-source data and spatial analysis, we estimate the impact of LUCC on CO2 emissions and ecological support capacity. Importantly, the spatial evolution and inequality of carbon sources and sinks are evaluated. The results suggest that (1) the growth of urban areas due to urbanization has exceeded 5293 km2 over the last 18 years and that the number of closed forest areas increased by 1444 km2 while decreases of 16,418, 9437, and 1250 km2 were observed in the water body, cropland, and grassland land-use types, respectively; (2) CO2 levels rose dramatically in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei urban agglomeration, increasing from 8.7 × 107 tCO2 in 2000 to 26 × 107 tCO2 in 2018; (3) there is increasing inequality in the emission levels among cities; and (4) the spatial differences in the carbon sink and ecological support capacity are huge. Our findings have the potential to improve the government’s understanding of how to take action to optimize land-use types and how to launch engineering projects in key zones to achieve carbon peak and carbon neutrality, as well as to provide a new perspective for studies on the controls and mitigation of CO2 emissions. Article There are few studies on the reduction of heavy metal pollution from the perspectives of digital transformation and the agglomeration effect of heavy metal enterprises. In this study, 430 heavy metal enterprises in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River were selected as research samples based on the data learning method. The content analysis method based on data mining was used to measure the degree of digital transformation of heavy metal enterprises, and spatial dynamic analysis methods such as kernel density analysis and inverse distance weight were used to build an integrated framework of quantitative analysis based on linear regression and qualitative analysis based on visualization. First, the pollution emission behavior, industrial agglomeration degree and enterprise pollution reduction performance of heavy metal enterprises in the urban agglomeration of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River were visualized by GIS. Then, the systematic GMM method was used to analyze the pollution reduction performance of enterprises in digital transformation, as well as the interaction effect and threshold characteristics under the effect of enterprise agglomeration. The results were as follows. (1) The average concentrations of Cd, Pb and Cr in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River in 2020 were 1.111 μg/L, 1.145 μg/L and 1.163 μg/L, respectively, which were lower than the standards of heavy metal pollution. (2) The geographical coupling degrees of digital transformation and pollution reduction of heavy metal enterprises in the urban agglomeration of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River is high, and the coupling degree of high value areas of digital transformation degree and high value areas of emission reduction degree is as high as 84.3%. (3) Under the agglomeration effect, there is a U-shaped curve between the digital transformation of enterprises and pollution reduction performance. When the agglomeration degree of enterprises is above the threshold of 2.303, the digital transformation of enterprises has a significant positive impact on pollution reduction. Article Full-text available Land consolidation is essential in China for improving land use efficiency and supporting rural public space governance. Previously, the implementation of land consolidation projects (LCPs) had been mainly led by governments in China. In recent years, the Chinese government vigorously promoted land consolidation, and land consolidation in the corporation-leading mode (CLM) has emerged. This study focused on investigating the performance of CLM projects and the difference in performance levels between the CLM projects and the government-leading mode (GLM) projects. Based on the improved extensible matter–element model, the performance levels of 14 LCPs in GLM and CLM of Jianghan Plain, Hubei Province and related impact factors were analyzed. A set of evaluation indices was selected based on the “process-based thinking and logic”. Results showed that: (1) performance levels of the 14 LCPs are different, most of the projects in the GLM have ordinary or poor performance, while most of the projects in the CLM have excellent or good performance; (2) factors affecting the performance levels of LCPs are also different in the two modes. The main influencing factors in the CLM were the poor access to field roads, insufficient shelterbelt planting, and low land reclamation efficiency, while the insufficient shelterbelt planting, low annual output value of farmland and grain production capacity, low increase rate of agricultural labor production, and low land reclamation efficiency were the main influencing factors in the GLM; (3) comparative analysis of the two modes revealed that LCPs in the CLM have clear investment directions, high output benefits, and obvious advantages in the development of modern agriculture when compared with the GLM. To achieve improving the performance levels of LCPs, policy makers should actively innovate the implementation mode of LCPs and encourage all kinds of agricultural corporations to participate in land consolidation. Article Full-text available People explosion and fast economic growth are bringing a more serious land resource shortage crisis. Rational land-use allocation can effectively reduce this burden. Existing land-use allocation models may deal with a lot of challenges of land-use planning. This study proposed a hybrid quantitative and spatial optimization land-use allocation model that could enrich the land-use allocation method system. This model has three advantages compared to former methods: (1) this model can simultaneously solve the quantitative land area optimization problem and spatial allocation problem, which are the two core aspects of land-use allocation; (2) the land suitability assessment method considers various geographical, economic and environmental factors which are essential to land-use allocation; (3) this model used an interval stochastic fuzzy programming land-use allocation model to solve the quantitative land area optimization problem. This model not only considers three uncertainties in the natural system but also involves various economic, social, ecological and environmental constraints—most of which are specifically put into the optimization process. The proposed model has been applied to a real case study in Liannan county, Guangdong province, China. The results could help land managers and decision makers to conduct sound land-use planning/policy and could help scientists understand the inner contradiction among economic development, environmental protection, and land use. Article Full-text available Studies of land use/cover change (LUCC) and its impact on ecosystem service (ES) in monetary units can provide information that governments can use to identify where protection and restoration is economically most important. Translating ES in monetary units into decision making strongly depends on the availability of spatially explicit information on LUCC and ES. Yet such datasets are unavailable for the Three Gorges Reservoir Area (TGRA) despite its perceived soil conservation service value (SCSV). The availability of remote sensing-based datasets and advanced GIS techniques has enhanced the potential of spatially explicit ES mapping exercises. Here, we first explored LUCC in the TGRA for four time periods (1995–2000, 2000–2005, 2005–2010, and 2010–2015). Then, applying a value transfer method with an equivalent value factor spatialized using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), we estimated the changes of monetary SCSV in response to LUCC in a spatially explicit way. Finally, the sensitivity of SCSV changes in response to LUCC was determined. Major findings: (i) Expansion of construction land and water bodies and contraction of cropland characterized the LUCC in all periods. Their driving factors include the relocation of residents, construction of the Three Gorges Dam, urbanization, and the Grain for Green Program; (ii) The SCSV for TGRA was generally stable for 1995–2015, declining slightly (<1%), suggesting a sustainable human–environment relationship in the TGRA. The SCSV prevails in regions with elevations (slopes) of 400–1600 m (0°–10°); for Chongqing and its surrounding regions it decreased significantly during 1995–2015; (iii) SCSV’s sensitivity index was 1.04, 0.53, 0.92, and 1.25 in the four periods, respectively, which is generally low. Chongqing and its surrounding regions, with their pervasive urbanization and dense populations, had the highest sensitivity. For 1995–2015, 70.63% of the study area underwent increases in this sensitivity index. Our results provide crucial information for policymaking concerning ecological conservation and compensation. Article Full-text available The present study presents a multidimensional analysis of land-use efficiency in terms of per-capita built-up area over 417 metropolitan regions from 27 European countries. The study period encompasses two urban phases including economic expansion (2000–2007) and crisis (2008–2015). Multiple geographical gradients were identified as relevant predictors of land-use efficiency across Europe. The socioeconomic variables most associated with high land-use efficiency were per-capita disposable income (in Western, Atlantic and Central Europe) and income growth during 2000–2007 (in Eastern Europe), indicating that wealthier cities are characterized by higher land-use efficiency. Land-use efficiency increased in contexts with diversified urban landscapes. Article Full-text available The question of how to generate maximum socio-economic benefits while at the same time minimizing input from urban land resources lies at the core of regional ecological civilization construction. We apply stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) in this study to municipal input-output data for the period between 2005 and 2014 to evaluate the urbanization efficiency of 110 cities within the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) and then further assess the spatial association characteristics of these values. The results of this study initially reveal that the urbanization efficiency of the YREB increased from 0.34 to 0.53 between 2005 and 2014, a significant growth at a cumulative rate of 54.07%. Data show that the efficiency growth rate of cities within the upper reaches of the Yangtze River has been faster than that of their counterparts in the middle and lower reaches, and that there is also a great deal of additional potential for growth in urbanization efficiency across the whole area. Secondly, results show that urbanization efficiency conforms to a “bar-like” distribution across the whole area, gradually decreasing from the east to the west. This trend highlights great intra-provincial differences, but also striking inter-provincial variation within the upper, middle, and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. The total urbanization efficiency of cities within the lower reaches of the river has been the highest, followed successively by those within the middle and upper reaches. Finally, values for Moran’s I within this area remained higher than zero over the study period and have increased annually; this result indicates a positive spatial correlation between the urbanization efficiency of cities and annual increments in agglomeration level. Our use of the local indicators of spatial association (LISA) statistic has enabled us to quantify characteristics of “small agglomeration and large dispersion”. Thus, “high- high” (H-H) agglomeration areas can be seen to have spread outwards from around Zhejiang Province and the city of Shanghai, while areas characterized by “low-low” (L-L) patterns are mainly concentrated in the north of Anhui Province and in Sichuan Province. The framework and results of this research are of considerable significance to our understanding of both land use sustainability and balanced development. © 2018, Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Article Full-text available Arguments about side effects of economic growth in urbanization call for deeper research on land use efficiency (LUE) from the perspective of urban planning for the coordination of social production and environmental conservation. Rural-urban migration increases rural household earning from part-time jobs at urban area. This social transformation increases the transportation demands and the risk of regional environmental degradation through ecological intercorrelation among urban-rural ecosystems. In this research, we aim to study how urban-rural ecological intercorrelation can dynamically determine the edge effects between backward-wave effects and spillover effects to affect dynamics of land use efficiency on the pathway of regional development. We analyze the marginal percentage changes of population growth and rural/urban income growth influence the dynamics of land use efficiency of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region (BTH). Empirical analysis results show that the urban income rises have weak spillover effects, while rural income growth primarily influences land use efficiency changes when urban-rural ecological intercorrelation is weak. We also test with or without the innovation impacts, and find both methods reporting the violation of normal economic development that in fact backward-wave effects exceed spillover effects in BTH. It implies that urban income growth should drive more spillover effects when urban-rural ecological intercorrelation is strong, but in fact it fails in a highly urbanized region. Thus, it is debatable that the fast population growth is the root of environmental degradation, in fact, ecological intercorrelation determines the edge effects of regional economic scale. That affects the structural effects of urban-rural landscape changes being allocated by population and income rises dynamically. Policy implication for regional development is to identify landscape rights in advance to keep dynamics of land use efficiency in a relatively stable structure for coherently improving environmental quality and the standard of living. Article Full-text available China has experienced enormous changes in land use in recent decades, which are largely driven by its unparalleled economic development. We analyze changes in vegetation and soil carbon storage between 1990 and 2010 resulting from combinations of land-use category conversion and management. Results demonstrate a major decline in grasslands (−6.85%; 20.83 × 10⁶ ha) and large increases in urban areas (+43.73%; 6.87 × 10⁶ ha), farmlands (+0.84%; 1.48 × 10⁶ ha), and forests (+0.67%; 1.52 × 10⁶ ha). The total soil organic carbon pool has been reduced by approximately 11.5 Tg of carbon (TgC) year⁻¹, whereas 13.2 TgC year⁻¹ has accumulated in the biomass carbon pool because of land-use category change. Large carbon losses (approximately 101.8 TgC year⁻¹) have resulted from land management failures, including forest fires and insect pests. Overall land-use change and land management have contributed about 1.45 Pg of carbon to the total carbon released from 1990 to 2010. Our results highlight the importance of improving land-use management, especially in view of the recently proposed expansion of urban areas in China. Article Full-text available We examine historical and future land-use emissions using a simple mechanistic carbon-cycle model with regional and ecosystem specific parameterizations. We use the latest gridded data for historical and future land-use changes, which includes estimates for the impact of forest harvesting and secondary forest regrowth. Our central estimate of net terrestrial land-use change emissions, exclusive of climate–carbon feedbacks, is 250 GtC over the last 300 yr. This estimate is most sensitive to assumptions for preindustrial forest and soil carbon densities. We also find that land-use change emissions estimates are sensitive to the treatment of crop and pasture lands. These sensitivities also translate into differences in future terrestrial uptake in the RCP (representative concentration pathway) 4.5 land-use scenario. The estimate of future uptake obtained here is smaller than the native values from the GCAM (Global Change Assessment Model) integrated assessment model result due to lower net reforestation in the RCP4.5 gridded land-use data product. Article Full-text available We present a new statistical test to detect that a presented state of a reversible Markov chain was not chosen from a stationary distribution. In particular, given a value function for the states of the Markov chain, we would like to demonstrate rigorously that the presented state is an outlier with respect to the values, by establishing a$p$-value for observations we make about the state under the null hypothesis that it was chosen uniformly at random. A simple heuristic used in practice is to sample ranks of states from long random trajectories on the Markov chain, and compare these to the rank of the presented state; if the presented state is a$0.1\%$-outlier compared to the sampled ranks (i.e., its rank is in the bottom$0.1\%$of sampled ranks) then this should correspond to a$p$-value of$0.001$. This test is not rigorous, however, without good bounds on the mixing time of the Markov chain, as one must argue that the observed states on the trajectory approximate the stationary distribution. Our test is the following: given the presented state in the Markov chain, take a random walk from the presented state for any number of steps. We prove that observing that the presented state is an$\varepsilon$-outlier on the walk is significant at$p=\sqrt {2\varepsilon}$, under the null hypothesis that the state was chosen from a stationary distribution. Our result assumes nothing about the structure of the Markov chain beyond reversibility, and we construct examples to show that significance at$p\approx\sqrt \varepsilon$is essentially best possible in general. As an application of our test, we demonstrate that the congressional districting of Pennsylvania has a nonrandom Republican bias, at a significance of$p=10^{-5}$, compared with uniformly randomly chosen compact districtings. Article Full-text available This study examines the impacts of income, energy consumption and population growth on CO2 emissions by employing an annual time series data for the period 1970-2012 for India, Indonesia, China, and Brazil. The study used the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) bounds test approach considering both the linear and non-linear assumptions for related time series data for the top CO2 emitter emerging countries in both the short run and long run. The results show that CO2 emissions have increased statistically significantly with increases in income and energy consumption in all four countries. While the relationship between CO2 emissions and population growth was found to be statistically significant for India and Brazil, it has been statistically insignificant for China and Indonesia in both the short run and long run. Also, empirical observations from the testing of environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis imply that in the cases of Brazil, China and Indonesia, CO2 emissions will decrease over the time when income increases. So based on the EKC findings, it can be argued that these three countries should not take any actions or policies, which might have conservative impacts on income, in order to reduce their CO2 emissions. But in the case of India, where CO2 emissions and income were found to have a positive relationship, an increase in income over the time will not reduce CO2 emissions in the country. ... Keywords: economic growth; CO2 emissions; population growth; energy consumption; Environmental Kuznets Curve, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia. ... (Reference: Alam, M.M., Murad, M.W., Noman, A.H.M., and Ozturk, I. 2016. Relationships among Carbon Emissions, Economic Growth, Energy Consumption and Population Growth: Testing Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis for Brazil, China, India and Indonesia. Ecological Indicators, Vol. 70, pp. 477-479). Article Full-text available To explore the influences of human activities on the global carbon cycle, anthropogenic carbon emission has become one of the major concerns in academic circles. Regional land use is an important source of carbon emissions. As a direct embodiment of human activities and government policies, the alteration of land use structure will change the pattern and structure of human energy consumption, which will further influence natural and anthropogenic carbon emissions and regional carbon cycle efficiency. Therefore, the impact of human economic and energy activities on the regional carbon cycle was largely achieved by changing land use structure and pattern. Land use is an important driving factor of low-carbon economy and carbon emissions, and is an important tool for carbon emission regulation and control. Research on the carbon effect of land use and its regulation helps to promote the developing of a low-carbon economy through land use planning, industrial structure regulation and control and territorial development, renovation and management. First, this paper evaluated the carbon effect of the overall plan for land utilization in Nanjing through determining the parameters for carbon effect evaluation. Then, three schemes for land use low-carbon optimization were proposed and analyzed, and the policy suggestions were put forward finally. The main conclusions are as follows: 1) The carbon storage, carbon emission, and carbon sink under land use overall planning scheme of Nanjing in 2020 was 344.35(104, 1293.90(104, 3.40(104t higher than that in the land use structure in 2005 respectively. Generally, the land use planning scheme of Nanjing city in 2020 will increase regional carbon storage to some extent, but will decrease the carbon sink function of the terrestrial ecosystem, and will also promote the increase of carbon emission. 2) Carbon emission of the land use structure optimization scheme based on the lowest carbon emission will be 73.75(104t lower than that in the land use overall planning scheme in 2020, and the carbon emission reduction potential is 8.50%. If considering the carbon storage and carbon sink of Nanjing city under the land use structure optimization scheme base on the lowest carbon emission, the total carbon emission reduction and carbon sink increasing potential will reach 148(104t, which means that the land use structure optimization scheme base on lowest carbon emission scheme will be the best land optimization scheme to add carbon sink and reduce carbon emissions. Through Monte Carlo simulation, the carbon emission reduction potential of the land use structure optimization scheme based on the lowest carbon emission scheme was further confirmed. 3) In order to promote low-carbon economic development in Nanjing, we suggest that the land use structure optimization scheme based on the lowest carbon emission should be considered as an important reference in the future land use structure adjustment and industrial planning in Nanjing city. This scheme will not only help to realize the aim of carbon emission reduction during "the Twelfth-Five Planning" of Nanjing city, but will also have important practical significance for the controlling of constructive land expansion, adding of productive land use areas, guiding the land use planning and exploiting activities such as consolidation of agricultural land and rural residential areas. Furthermore, the carbon effect evaluation method should be introduced into the environmental impact assessment of land use activities to establish low-carbon land use patterns. Article Urban sprawl is challenging regional sustainability in China due to its complex ecological and environmental impacts. This study aimed to effectively simulate and forecast urban sprawl in the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB), China. First, we measured the extent of urban sprawl from 1992 to 2015 based on the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's Operational Linescan System (DMSP/OLS) nighttime light data and an urban sprawl index (USI) at the administrative and river basin scales. Then, we established an urban sprawl scenario analysis (USSA) model that considered the extent of urban sprawl, the source level, ecological barriers and ecological resistance. Finally, we defined four scenarios to simulate the boundaries and spatial morphologies of urban sprawl in the YREB. The results indicate that the YREB will continue to spread at different scales and present unbalanced states under all urban area sprawl scenarios. Under the different scenarios, the upper reaches represented the most sprawling basin, the medium cities exhibited the greatest sprawl, and Cheng-Yu (CY) was the most sprawling urban agglomeration. The most sprawling cities were Chongqing, Kunming and Lijiang, accounting for 7.73%, 2.66% and 2.55% of the entire YREB, respectively. The urban land shared a similar sprawl trend across different years, increasing from 40,665 km² in 2020 to approximately 111,092 km² in 2035, for an annual growth rate of 6.93%. Thus, it is suggested that effective measures are needed to manage urban sustainability in the YREB, China. Article Rapid urbanization and industrialization has worsened the situation of the scarce cultivated land resources of China. It's therefore of great importance for sustainable development based on the systematic evaluation on cultivated land use efficiency (CLUE). This study took carbon emissions resulting from cultivated land use into the measurement framework of CLUE, and a slack-based measure (SBM) model with undesirable outputs, boxplot, kernel density estimation and Tobit regression model are adopted for the analysis of 31 provinces in China from 2000 to 2017. The results showed that there was an increasing trend in CLUE in China from 0.5236 in 2000 to 0.8501 in 2017, with the growth rate of 38.40%. Most of provinces in China have much lower levels of CLUE with significantly spatial disparities. In particular, Hainan, Chongqing, Sichuan and Guizhou are always most efficient with the highest value of 1. At the regional level, the average value of CLUE in the northeastern region is the highest, followed by the western, eastern and central regions, and the CLUE in the eastern region is more unstable than the other three regions. The results of Tobit regression show that natural conditions, cultivated land resource endowments, agricultural production conditions, regional economic development and regional science and technology development are important factors resulting in the disparity of China's CLUE. Article As a popular form of land use worldwide, development zones (DZs) are selected and supported by authorities to accelerate structural transformation. Although the establishment of DZs is regarded to boost regional economic growth, whether or not it really improves industrial land use efficiency (ILUE) has not been adequately examined. Using firm-level data collected from Hangzhou, a typical megacity in China, geographically weighted regression is first applied to examine the spatially nonstationary associations between ILUE and potential determinants, and variance partitioning analysis is further used to compare the relative importance of the ILUE determinants. Then, hypothesis testing and Heckman selection model are utilized to quantify the impact of different types of DZs on ILUE. Results show, the capital intensity and employee density are major determinants of ILUE, and similar as other policy, agglomeration, location and firm heterogeneity factors, the association between them and ILUE is spatially nonstationary. Moreover, firms in high-tech industry development zones (HIDZs) have significantly higher ILUE, but no matter what the administrative level and development stage of economic and technological development zones (ETDZs) are, the firms in them own significantly lower ILUE. Besides, more intensive firm clusters and preferential policies will not help further improve ILUE for the in-zone firms, and the intensive land use related indicators are insignificant in the selection procedure. In general, DZs influence firm-level ILUE through selection effect, policy effect, cluster effect and location effect. HIDZs successfully promote ILUE of in-zone firms, but ETDZs fail to do so because of the abuse of preferential policy and the weak enforcement of intensive industrial land use policies. Implications are formulated for policy makers to improve ILUE within the context of high-quality development. Article Great challenges regarding land use conflicts in rapid urbanization call for deeper research on land use efficiency (LUE) from the perspective of sustainable land use for the coordination among food security, economic development, and ecological protection. This study firstly develops a new framework of LUE based upon the expectations in land use and the coordination among three sub-categories in food production, economic development, and ecological protection, then, uses the coupling coordination degree model to quantify the spatial differentiation characteristics and coupling coordination relationships among three sub-categories, and finally uses the multivariable linear regression and geographical detectors to analyze the impact factors of sub-category efficiency. The framework is applied to Jiangsu Province in eastern China by using ten indicators (i.e., cultivated land quality, grain output, multiple cropping index, average GDP per km2, population density, proportion of industry and service industry, vegetation cover index, water conservation index, soil retention index, and carbon sequestration index) in terms of food production, economy, and ecology analysis at the county level. Compared with expectations, the LUE of Jiangsu in food production, economic development, and ecological protection is 54.15%, 85.56%, and 54.95%, respectively, indicating that Jiangsu has great potential for sustainable land use. The coupling coordination degree in land use generally synchronizes with the coupling degree, accounting for 65.34% of the province's area, of which 75.00% are in lower-coupling & lower-coordination, medium-coupling & medium-coordination. Among all the factors, proportion of industry and service industry, population density, multiple cropping index, average GDP per km2, and water conservation index have the most important roles in the coordinated development of land use sub-systems. Therefore, we suggest land use/urban management need to implement more integrated planning and differentiated strategies to stimulate land use potential and maintain efficient and sustainable land use. Article The rapid urbanization in China has a huge impact on land use. The scarcity of land resources has become a constraint for sustainable urban development. Recently, urban agglomeration (UA) has become a new type of complex urban system. The aim of this paper is to investigate the relationship of land use and UAs’ socio-economic development, and figure out effective land strategies. There are 12 evaluated UAs in our paper, which includes 184 cities. We analyze the land use performance of China’s UAs from different perspectives. We first analyze the decoupling relationship between economic growth and urban land use, and then evaluate land use efficiency of China’s 12 typical UAs. The k-means clustering is used to clarify evaluated UAs into different groups according to their characteristics. Furthermore, the efficiency decomposition, changing trend and comparison of core cities are also described. At last, the tobit regression model is built to verify the main driving factors of land use efficiency from three aspects, including economic level, economic structure and government regulation. The results show that most UAs showed weak decoupling relationship. Average urban land use efficiency of UAs in China was not very high. Furthermore, the average efficiency showed an evident fluctuation in 2008 and 2015. Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta have been on the effective frontier. Based on group analysis, the UAs in central China have more room for efficiency improvement. The significant factors influencing UAs’ land use efficiency included per capita GDP, population density and the degree of market openness. Finally, several targeted strategies are proposed to improve urban land use performance of China’s UAs. Article Rapid urbanization in China has greatly exacerbated land use transitions (LUTs), which seriously threaten the ecosystem. The existing literature lacks information on the spatio-temporal analysis of LUTs, and assessments of ecosystem services remain incomplete. This lack of information may limit the formation and implementation of landscape plans and ecologically oriented policies. This study attempts to fill this gap by analysing the geographic features of LUTs with the geo-informatic Tupu method and exploring the responses of ecosystem services to LUTs. A newly revised benefit transfer method that utilizes the land use/land cover change data derived from the Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM) in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River Economic Belt (MRYREB) is implemented. The results indicate that the area of construction land continued to increase markedly, while the area of cultivated land declined continuously from 1995 to 2015. This increase in construction land was mainly derived from the occupation of cultivated land. The Tupu units of "forestland → cultivated land," "cultivated land → forestland," "cultivated land → water area," and "water area → cultivated land" were the dominant driving forces of the changes in ecosystem services value (ESV) in the MRYREB. Hotspots of ESV changes were mainly located in the surrounding mountainous areas during 1995-2005 and 2005-2010, while the coldspots during 2010-2015 were mainly located in the plains. The findings in this study have important implications for ecosystem conservation, ecological function zoning, ecological compensation decision-making, and related land development in the MRYREB. Article Many parts of sub-Saharan Africa are becoming increasingly vulnerable due to high temperatures and low precipitation associated with climate change. The Karoo region in South Africa is particularly at risk, and to illustrate the extent of this vulnerability survey data from white commercial farmers are used to measure levels of efficiency for three years between 2012 and 2014. A stochastic production frontier is estimated and results show that average farm level efficiency fell by 3.2% per year over the period. The performance of the top ten farmers fell by 6.5% from an average efficiency of 92%–86%. The bottom group fared much worse. Five of these withdrew from sheep farming altogether while the other five had an average decline of 24.5% in efficiency, with their scores falling from 49% to 37%. Adverse weather explains some of the decline and the continuing drought bodes ill for future farm performance. Increasingly marginal farming causes, and is exacerbated by, changes in land ownership. Other causes of land ownership changes are mixed and include the uncertainty regarding the future of land reform in South Africa. The implications of farm efficiency for land reform policy are discussed. Article The construction of the Yangtze River Economic Belt is a major strategic measure for coordinating China's regional development. In promoting regional integration, the belt has shown a trend in industrial gradient transfers, especially polluting industries. Measuring the impact of environmental regulations on the economic output and marginal changes in the output caused by pollution reduction is particularly practical and important. This paper analyzes the ecoefficiency, environmental regulation opportunity costs, and interregional industrial transfer strategies for the provinces in the belt under a scenario paradigm. The nonparametric method is used to construct an ecoefficiency measure model. The ecoefficiency changes and differences under various regulations are measured from the temporal (historical) and spatial (provincial) perspectives, respectively. The ecoefficient provinces in the eastern region can be considered benchmarks for the central and western regions to achieve ecoefficiency. A comparative analysis is conducted to assess the opportunity costs of regulations on different pollutants. The results show that a certain degree of difference in regulations must be maintained across the belt to coordinate economic and environmental development. Based on the potential differences in regulations, an appropriate gradient transfer direction for polluting industries is proposed for the provinces, and related policy recommendations are provided. Article This study takes the Yangtze River Economic Belt as a study area and analyzes the impacts of natural and socioeconomic factors on air pollution based on a dataset of urban air quality monitoring data in 2015 and meteorological and economic statistical data. We first apply the grey relational degree to test for the quantitative relationships between the natural and socioeconomic factors and air pollution. We then employ a novel method, specifically, the geographical detector, from the perspective of spatial stratified heterogeneity to reveal the potential impacts and interaction impacts of the natural and socioeconomic factors on air pollution. The results are as follows. (1) The grey relational degree results reveal that all factors in the topographical and meteorological layer, pollution sources layer, economic development layer, and urbanization layer have high relational degrees, indicating that these factors are closely correlated with air pollution. (2) The factor detector analysis reveals that the PM2.5 factor has the biggest q value, indicating that it is the primary contributor to air pollution, followed by PM10 and elevation. (3) The interaction detector analysis reveals that the interaction of two factors plays a more important role in influencing air pollution than does each factor individually. Moreover, the interactions between pair factors of pollution sources are the strongest. (4) The risk detector analysis reveals that elevation and precipitation are negatively correlated with air pollution, whereas pollution and urbanization factors are positively correlated with air pollution. (5) Finally, two leading impact areas for atmospheric pollution, namely, the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration and the Wuhan metropolitan area are predominantly attributed to the combination of natural and urbanization factors, whereas Yunnan and Guizhou are the least impact areas for atmospheric pollution because of their topographical and meteorological factors. Article The dependence of county industry on high CO2 emission industries makes it difficult to balance the development of county economy and CO2 emission reduction. Therefore, this article attempts to study on the spatial-temporal evolution and influencing factor on land use-related CO2 emissions at region-county level to promote county economy from CO2 source to CO2 sink. 9 regions and 38 counties in Chongqing of China were thus selected as study objects. Based on land use data, land use-related CO2 emissions were estimated using direct and indirect CO2 emission models for the period 1997–2015. On this basis, the space-time patterns were revealed from two scales of region and county. And the main factors influencing CO2 emissions according to land use were revealed based on Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) and geographic detector analysis (GDA), respectively. The results show that: 1) at regional scale, CO2 emissions of different regions all greatly improve in which southeastern ecological protection and development area showed the largest increase. Increases in per capita CO2 emissions in two-wing (suburban) areas are higher than those in downtown and surrounding-downtown areas. 2) at regional scale, the influences of various decomposed factors on the change of CO2 emissions fluctuate. The effect of population shows an insignificant influence on CO2 emissions. Economic development greatly influences CO2 emissions. Additionally, energy consumption shows a significant inhibitory effect on CO2 emissions while energy mix exhibits significant hysteresis. 3) at county scale, heavy CO2 emissions are concentrated in core urban areas; moderate and mild emissions occur mainly in the main urban expansion area, the region around the main urban areas, and in regional hub cities; low emissions are mainly concentrated in the Wuling mountainous area in southeast Chongqing and the Three Gorges Reservoir area in northeast Chongqing. 4) at county scale, the main influences on land use-related CO2 emissions are total energy consumption, per capita GDP, and urbanization rate. Minor influences include population size, proportion of secondary and tertiary industries, and proportion of land used for construction. Article Economic growth and eco-environmental protection are largely incompatible in the optimization of the urban land-use structure (ULUS) in rapidly developing regions. Here, we attempted to construct a model for optimizing ULUS with the inclusion of uncertain interval values, simultaneously considering the economic growth and eco-environmental protection in rapidly developing regions so as to estimate the elastic interval value of ULUS. The corresponding urban economic and environmental benefits were analyzed. Furthermore, an empirical study of Wuhan city revealed that there are certain counterbalance relationships among commercial land, industrial land and green land: the area of residential land, green land and public land is increasing year by year, and that of industrial land remains basically unchanged, while that of commercial land is decreasing gradually. Therefore, in rapidly developing regions, greater economic benefits from the ULUS are usually obtained at the cost of environmental and ecological benefits. Article Food security provides a major topic for this study and the recurring point is food security–agricultural land relation. The analysis is grounded on the assumption that control over agricultural land means control over food. Effective control over land is one of the riskiest issues of large land deals. Permanent supply and sustainable access to quality food is influenced by structural socio-economic and political arrangements targeting agricultural land which often prevent individuals and entire communities from acquiring basic competencies and rights for their autonomy. The objective of the study is two folded: to investigate five Eastern European countries characteristics which are valued as determinants of food security–large land deals relation and to highlight the social utility of agricultural land property. Thus, the substantive theme of this study grows out of several observed streams of large land deals. In the first part, historical and economic influential factors connected to large land deals in Eastern Europe are approached, within the context of transition from centrally planned state economy to free market economy. The second part takes up the challenge to analyze the correlation between country characteristics that can impact on food security–land transaction relationship. Then, the paper goes on to introduce and explain, following Léon Duguit’s theory of social utility, aspects about the social function of agricultural land ownership. Based on non-parametric tests, which included a set of 14 socio-economic variables, the results show, for example, a strong positive correlation between the size of closed land deals and both the size of country land area and of land under cereal production. The paper concludes with several proposals targeting fair land arrangements and practices that have the potential to transform themselves in building blocks for future policies dedicated to sustainable land management and food security. Article Land is the space foothold of industrial development, and the reasonable development of industrial land is related to the reasonable allocation of land resources in a certain area. However, the traditional classification of industrial land is mostly based on its function, form or application, which covers the qualitative change of a regional industrial structure in terms of the change of the land use structure. To explore the heterogeneity of the evolution of classification of industrial land, this paper constructs a new industrial land classification consisting of capital-intensive industrial land, labour-intensive industrial land, and knowledge-intensive industrial land and builds a mechanical equilibrium model based on the data of stated-owned construction land supply in the years from 2007 to 2014 in Anhui Province. The evolution characteristics of industrial land structures are systematically studied in terms of the evolution degree, evolution direction and regional differences. The results show that, from 2007 to 2014, the transformation coefficient of industrial land structures in Anhui Province presents a trend of “two-stage” descending, taking 2011 as a watershed. The speed of transformation and the degree of spatial aggregation in different regions are different, forming three hotspots of industrial land transformation in Bengbu-Bozhou, Anqing, and Wuhu city. Capital-intensive industrial land is becoming the leading direction of the development of industrial land in northern Anhui, while middle and southern Anhui are dominated by knowledge-intensive industrial land. The article notes out that the direction of the evolution of land use structure basically accords with the theory of industrial upgrading, but different regions are in different upgrading stages. The research results will not only enrich the perspective of the study on the internal structure changes of urban construction land but also provide a reference for the construction of a new statistical system of industrial land. Article There is a great deal of evidence that climate change affects socioeconomic systems. The social cost of carbon (SCC) is calculated by scientists to monetarize the incremental unit of carbon emission and is used to assess climate policies. This study begins with a review of current research on the SCC, followed by a discussion of the choice of models for the SCC. We give a list of advantages of disadvantages of each model and finally use a meta-analysis to evaluate the SCC from published research. The main findings were as follows. (i) Integrated assessment models (IAMs) are often employed to assess the SCC, research on IAMs was started booming in the 1990s and slightly decreased after 2012. (ii) The estimated SCC ranges from −50 to 8752$/tC (−13.36–2386.91$/tCO2), with a mean value of 200.57$/tC (54.70$/tCO2) and it equals to 112.86$/tC (30.78\$/tCO2) with a PRTP at 3% in peer-reviewed studies. (iii) The estimated SCC is higher in newer publication year and in peer-reviewed studies, the same trend happens with a higher climatic sensitivity and employing DICE/RICE and PAGE. (iv) The pure rate of time preference (PRTP) is tightly associated with the estimated SCC, and a higher PRTP has a lower estimated SCC. (v) The outliers often appear without realistic scenario setting and in studies have not peer-reviewed.
Article
Achieving “green” use of industrial land is beneficial to save precious land resources, protect ecological environments and achieve the green development of China's economy. In this paper, we estimate the dynamic performance of the total-factor green use efficiency of industrial land (TGUEIL) in China by using a global non-radial directional distance function (GNDDF) and the non-radial Malmquist performance of industrial land green use (NMPILGU). The results show that the TGUEIL had a rising trend in most years during 2006–2015. The eastern region enjoys the greatest TGUEIL, and the gaps in the TGUEIL between regions are narrowing. Technical progress in the industrial sector contributes more to the NMPILGU than efficiency progress. To raise the TGUEIL, we should increase the internal expenditures in R&D activities, the number of effective inventions and R&D staffs in industrial enterprises. We should promote the use of clean energy in industrial production and increase efforts in energy-saving and emission reduction. We should prohibit local governments from selling land to cover the deficit. The government should pay more attention to industrial labor redundancy in eastern China and guide orderly redundant industrial labor force transfer from eastern regions to central and western regions.
Article
Based on the sequential generalized directional distance function (SGDDF) and Metafrontier non-radial Malmquist index (MNMI), the dynamic changes, saving potential, efficiency decompositions, and influencing factors of industrial land use efficiency are analyzed. This paper is a case study on the urban agglomeration in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River focusing on the years between 2003 and 2012. The results show that (1) potential for significant improvement in industrial land use efficiency exists, and the saving potential of industrial land shows a rising trend. With the least saving potential, the Poyang Lake city group enjoys the highest efficiency. With the greatest saving potential, the efficiency in Wuhan city group is the lowest. (2) A positive catch-up effect and technological progress can be observed in industrial land use efficiency in the examined region, but the lack of technology innovators inhibits the promotion of industrial land use technology. (3) The analysis of the influencing factors shows that the relationship between per capita GDP and industrial land use efficiency follows an “N” shape. With the further economic development, industrial land use efficiency will decline slightly. Enhancing industrialization and land investment policies is thus conducive to increasing industrial land use efficiency, while industrial labor surplus and the governance of “Land Finance” have the opposite effect. Specific countermeasures to promote industrial land use efficiency are as follows: optimize industrial structure and improve labor skills; expand local industrial economy size properly to absorb surplus labor; perfect the land circulation system, and give full play to the resource allocation function of the land market; promote cross-regional flow of production factors; and strengthen regional cooperation among cities in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River.
Article
We introduce an explicit indicator and the Land Use Management Support System to assess the resource-use efficiency of land use (RUE) at the landscape scale. To estimate RUE, we relate land-use performance with regard to ecosystem services indicators to the maximum possible land-use performance based on an optimised land-use configuration. The test application of the RUE assessment in the Haean catchment, South Korea, shows that the land use system’s RUE could be increased by 11% for both nitrate and sediment loss. The estimated headroom could indicate whether potential contaminant reduction targets for the downstream water reservoir Lake Soyang could be achieved with the current land-use system. The recurring RUE assessment for a given region might indicate the effectiveness of spatial planning and policy measures to improve the RUE in that region. Future work should address the integration of RUE into a participatory spatial planning or resource-management framework.
Article
Transportation industry is an important source of CO2 emissions, and has become the third largest energy consuming industry in China. Most existing researches studied regional disparities and influencing factors of Total CO2 Emissions from transportation industry, while limited researches studied the average amount specially. Based on the relevant data of Yangtze River Economic Belt from 2005 to 2014, Theil index was utilized to measure the regional disparities of Average CO2 Emissions from three aspects: CO2 emissions per capita (CEPC), CO2 emissions intensity (CEI) and CO2 emissions per converted transportation turnover (CEPT). Combining with extended Kaya identity, LMDI decomposition method was applied to analyze the influencing factors of CEPC, CEI and CEPT respectively. The empirical results indicate that regional disparities of CEPC, CEI and CEPT do exist and they are on downtrend after 2011. Regional disparity of CEPC is more significant than CEI and CEPT. Energy structure and energy intensity contribute to increasing CEPC and decreasing CEI and CEPT. Added-value per converted transportation turnover has positive effect on increasing CEPC and decreasing CEPT. Transportation intensity inhibits increasing CEPC, while economic level plays the most important positive role in increasing CEPC. The findings implicate that governments should transform the economic development mode, optimize the energy structure, improve transportation efficiency and develop differential policies according to practical situations.
Article
This study investigates carbon sources and carbon sink estimation, nexus and validation through Land cover/land use (LCLU) change analysis of Bangkok Metropolitan Area (BMA), Thailand. Considering spiking population and carbon emission trends, especially in metropolitan cities of developing countries, such estimations are direly needed. Moreover, quantification and empirical evidence involving such a multidisciplinary analysis are rarely available. Therefore, this study would help in understanding the relationship among economic development, carbon emissions, carbon sinks and land use change in BMA. CO2 emission and sequestration data from 1987 to 2015 were collected, and the changes and rate of change in LCLU were assessed by analyzing landsat satellite images of 1987, 1995, 2005, and 2015. Best efforts were put to attain net gains and losses in carbon sources and sinks analyses. Results showed that carbon sources have increased by almost 4-folds from 1987 to 2015 while sinks have declined rapidly to half of its original amount since 1987. The gap between carbon sources and sinks is widening year by year and will, if it continues in this manner, cover up the whole green space of BMA in the next decade. The LCLU change results also verified and showed the same results, which helped in validating such outcomes. Urban/built up area sprawl over 60% of BMA's area while the remaining 40% constitutes agricultural land, green spaces, and water bodies. Furthermore, the rate of change of urban area was 157.4 sq km during 2005–2015 and 218 sq km during 1995–2005. Therefore, policy makers of BMA should seriously draft expansion plans of green spaces and public parks and implement it immediately to tackle with carbon emissions and land use change disquiets. Meanwhile, awareness regarding conservation of green areas, trees, and use of public transport could be another set of bottom-up policies.
Article
The complex chemical process is a high pollution and high energy consumption industrial process. Therefore, it is very important to analyze and evaluate the energy and environment efficiency of the complex chemical process. Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is used to evaluate the relative effectiveness of decision-making units (DMUs). However, the traditional DEA method usually cannot genuinely distinguish the effective and inefficient DMU due to its extreme or unreasonable weight distribution of input and output variables. Therefore, this paper proposes an energy and environment efficiency analysis method based on an improved environment DEA cross-model (DEACM) method. The inputs of the complex chemical process are divided into energy and non-energy inputs. Meanwhile, the outputs are divided into desirable and undesirable outputs. And then the energy and environment performance index (EEPI) based on the cross evaluation is used to represent the overall performance of each DMU. Moreover, the improvement direction of energy-saving and carbon emission reduction of each inefficiency DMU is quantitatively obtained based on the self-evaluation model of the improved environment DEACM. The results show that the improved environment DEACM method has a better effective discrimination than the original DEA method by analyzing the energy and environment efficiency of the ethylene production process in complex chemical processes, and it can obtain the potential of energy-saving and carbon emission reduction of ethylene plants, especially the improvement direction of inefficient DMUs to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emission.
Article
Environmental efficiency (EE) assessment is an efficient way to evaluate the degree of coordination between economy and environment. Most of the studies measured country- or region-level EEs, while the EE disparities among cities were not well investigated. By incorporating the socioeconomic and remote sensing data, this study measured the static and dynamic EEs of 11 provinces and 131 cities in the Yangtze River Economic Zone (YREZ) in China based on a super efficiency data envelopment analysis (SEDEA) and Malmquist index (MI) methods during 2003-2014. The influential factors of EE imbalance in the YREZ area were explored by the panel tobit model. Results show that large gaps exist in city’s environmental efficiency. Cities in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) show higher EEs than that in the Chengyu Urban Agglomeration (CUA) and Urban Agglomeration in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River (UAMR) areas. 15 cities have an EE below 0.2 and only 2 cities above 1 in 2014. The overall average EE exhibited a declining trend during 2003-2014. The number of cities below the average environmental efficiency increased from 70 (53.4%) to 83 (63.4%) over the time period studied. The MI results indicate that management and scale optimization level is the main factor hindering total factor productivity (TFP) growth. The tobit experiment reveals that GDP per capita played a negative impact on EE for most of the YREZ area during 2003-2014. The degree of opening up and industrial structure acted positively on city’s environmental efficiency. These conclusions may be a helpful reference for decision makers to coordinate the economy and environment in the YREZ area.
Article
China’s so-called “development zone fever” has been criticized for leading to inefficient land use. This study aims to explore whether and how economic development zones improve land use efficiency. Using land use data on Shanghai’s electronics firms for 2003–2008, this study finds that the average output per land unit of firms within development zones is significantly higher than that of their counterparts outside development zones. Spatial hotspot analysis indicates that land-use efficient firms tend to cluster in development zones. Econometric results suggest that selection effects contribute to the higher levels of land use efficiency of firms in development zones. After controlling for selection effects, both factor accumulation effects and agglomeration effects have impacts on the land use efficiency of firms located in development zones. This study provides empirical justification for the establishment of economic development zones in China.
Article
Globally human pressure on the biosphere is increasing, in spite of increases in land use efficiency. The pressure consists of land use and potential degradation. Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) is emerging as an indicator, which combines the dual aspects of biomass use and land degradation. Recently HANPP has been used to map the increasing dependence of European countries on biomass imports and the conflicting processes of increased yields and increased consumption. However large overview studies could be complemented with indepth analysis into the causes of changes in individual countries and economic sectors. This allows the analysis of the macroeconomic drivers of change and the responses in sectors to these drivers. In this study we decomposed the HANPP of Finland including imports for the years 2000–2010 using IPAT and applied input-output analysis to look at sectoral land use efficiency in that time period. Finland is a country with intensive biomass trade, and with a very high per capita HANPP. During the study period the sum of domestic and embodied in imports HANPP of the Finnish economy decreased from 76 Mt C/a to 62 Mt C/a (−1% annually on average), while the HANPP related to imports increased from 12 Mt C/a to 14 Mt C/a. The overall trend was that of declining exports and increasing domestic consumption. Of the economic sectors wood harvesting and processing dominated HANPP results, followed by residential construction, animal production and energy supply. In terms of HANPP, most of these decreased, but housing and energy production increased considerably from 2002 to 2010. At the macroeconomic level domestic biomass use per unit of value added decreased (−2.2%/a) as did the amount of HANPP per unit of biomass (−1.1%/a) reflecting increased economic efficiency in land use. In contrast, GDP/capita (+1.3%/a), population (+0.4%) and the share of outsourced HANPP (+0.6%) resulted in increased consumption-based HANPP (from 21 Mt C in 2002 to 27 Mt C in 2010). Our results underline the importance of including international trade and consumption in interpreting overall change in regional HANPP.
Article
We estimate the relationship between urban spatial expansion and its socio-economic determinants in Lombardy, the most urbanised region of Italy (and one of the most of the European Union), at the municipality level. Test results suggest that this relationship varies significantly among municipalities of different size and findings support the hypothesis that larger ones are more efficient in managing land take. In particular, we find that the marginal land consumption per new household is inversely related to the size of the municipality and we link this evidence to the fact that, since more space is often available, small municipalities pay less institutional attention to the issue of land take and consequently internalise less the environmental externalities. This evidence calls for a reflection on the role of planning policies and the effectiveness of undifferentiated measures to contain land take, especially in the case of Italy, where the municipalities, more than 99% of which have less than 50,000 inhabitants, decide on land use transformations.
Article
Improving the land-use efficiency (LUE) of farming systems could satisfy increasing global food, feed, biomass and bioenergy demand in a sustainable manner. This study presents a new method for calculating LUE, beginning with an overview of different approaches to assessing agricultural LUE. This new method takes into account the quality and function of agricultural products and the relationship between the yield of the assessed farm and the average yield of the reference region with comparable soils, climate and socio-economic conditions. The new approach was tested using data from long-term experiments at the Scheyern Research Farm in southern Germany, which include different farming systems (organic mixed farming, arable farming, and agroforestry; conventional arable farming and agroforestry). In our case studies, the LUE of conventional systems (arable farming: 1.00; improved arable farming: 1.06; agroforestry: 0.98) was higher than those of the organic systems (mixed farming: 0.69; arable farming: 0.33; agroforestry: 0.43) due to different crop rotations, dry matter yields, and biomass usage (harvest ratio). The conversion of high-input arable farming systems (conventional farming) to agroforestry systems is an extensification with negative effects on the dry matter yield and land-use efficiency. Nevertheless, the conversion to agroforestry systems can increase dry matter yield and land-use efficiency in low-input arable farming systems (organic farming). LUE should be used in combination with agri-environmental indicators, in order to ensure both efficient and sustainable land use.
Article
Complex changes in carbon sources and sinks caused by rapid urbanization have been observed with extensive changes in the quantity, structure, and spatial pattern of land use types. Based on the modified Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach model and on gray relational analysis, we analyzed the influence of land use changes on carbon sinks and emissions in Guangzhou from 2000 to 2012. The aim was to identify suitable options for built-up land expansion that would allow for minimal carbon losses. The key results were as follows: (1) Built-up land increased by 118.91% in Guangzhou city over the study period, with this expansion taking the form of concentric circles extending around the old Yuexiu district. (2) Carbon emissions over the period of analysis significantly exceeded carbon sink capabilities. The total carbon sink decreased by 30.02%, from 535.40 × 103 t to 374.6 × 103 t. Total carbon emissions increased by 1.89 times, from 13.73 × 106 t to 39.67 × 106 t; 80% of carbon emissions were derived from energy consumption. (3) There were large differences in the extent of carbon sink losses at different scales of built-up land expansion and land use change. In Guangzhou, the loss of carbon sink is small when cultivated land (though not prime farmland) and water bodies are converted to built-up land on a small scale. The loss of carbon sink is much smaller when grasslands are converted to built-up land on a large scale. However, forested land, which has excellent carbon sink functions, should not be converted. (4) Changes in carbon sinks were mainly affected by natural factors and land urbanization. Changes in carbon emissions were mainly affected by population urbanization, economic urbanization, and land urbanization. (5) To achieve “economical and intensive use of land”, “urban growth boundary” and “ecological red lines” should be determined for government policies on land use management. These factors have great significance for “increasing carbon sinks and reducing carbon emissions” in urban ecological systems.
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Ecosystem services are substantial elements for human society. The central challenge to meet the human needs from ecosystems while sustain the Earth’s life support systems makes it urgent to enhance efficient natural resource management for sustainable ecological and socioeconomic development. Trade-off analysis of ecosystem services can help to identify optimal decision points to balance the costs and benefits of the diverse human uses of ecosystems. In this sense, the aim of this paper is to provide key insights into ecosystem services trade-off analysis at different scales from a land use perspective, by comprehensively reviewing the trade-offs analysis tools and approaches that addressed in ecology, economics and other fields. The review will significantly contribute to future research on trade-off analysis to avoid inferior management options and offer a win-win solution based on comprehensive and efficient planning for interacting multiple ecosystem services.
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In this study, we analyze the dynamic changes of industrial land green use efficiency (ILGUE) for the four main industrial zones in China during 2003–2013, using the global generalized directional distance function (GGDDF) and global Malmquist-Luenberger index (GML) approaches. Further, we investigate the impacts of influencing factors on the ILGUE, including industrial land policy and prices. The results show that (1) The Pearl River Delta zone enjoys the highest ILGUE, while the Central and South Liaoning zone suffers the worst. All four zones have potential for using industrial land more efficiently. The relatively low ILGUE is mainly due to the low level of industrial production technology. (2) The central government's land policies apply only in the Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan zone. The local government's land financing policy has a significant negative effect on improving ILGUE, except in the Yangtze River Delta zone. Active governmental pursuit of foreign industrial investment leads to ILGUE improvement in all four of the zones. (3) The shadow prices of industrial land indicate upward trends in all four of the zones, with the actual prices in most cities being significantly lower than the shadow prices. Therefore, the actual prices of these cities should be appropriately adjusted over time.