, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 459–472

Relative Urban Ecosystem Health Assessment: A Method Integrating Comprehensive Evaluation and Detailed Analysis

Original Contribution


Regarding the basic roles of urban ecosystem health assessment (i.e., discovering the comprehensive health status, and diagnosing the limiting factors of urban ecosystems), the general framework integrating comprehensive evaluation and detailed analysis is established, from both bottom-up and top-down directions. Emergy-based health indicators are established to reflect the urban ecosystem health status from a biophysical viewpoint. Considering the intrinsic uncertainty and relativity of urban ecosystem health, set pair analysis is combined with the emergy-based indicators to fill the general framework and evaluate the relative health level of urban ecosystems. These techniques are favorable for understanding the overall urban ecosystem health status and confirming the limiting factors of concerned urban ecosystems from biophysical perspective. Moreover, clustering analysis is applied by combining the health status with spatial geographical conditions. Choosing 26 typical Chinese cities in 2005, relative comprehensive urban ecosystem health levels were evaluated. The higher health levels of Xiamen, Qingdao, Shenzhen, and Zhuhai are in particular contrast to those of Wuhan, Beijing, Yinchuan, and Harbin, which are relatively poor. In addition, the conditions of each factor and related indicators are investigated through set pair analysis, from which the critical limiting factors of Beijing are confirmed. According to clustering analysis results, the urban ecosystems studied are divided into four groups. It is concluded that the proposed framework of urban ecosystem health assessment, which integrates comprehensive evaluation and detailed analysis and is fulfilled by emergy synthesis and set pair analysis, can serve as a useful tool to conduct diagnosis of urban ecosystem health.


urban ecosystem health assessment framework relativity emergy synthesis set pair analysis clustering 


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Copyright information

© International Association for Ecology and Health 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of EnvironmentBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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