Landscape and Ecological Engineering

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 181–190 | Cite as

Variations in air quality during rapid urbanization in Shanghai, China

  • Ti-Yuan Xia
  • Jun-ying Wang
  • Kun Song
  • Liang-jun Da
Special Feature: Original Paper Landscape change and sustainable development in Yangtze River Basin, China


Shanghai is the largest commercial and industrial city of China, but air quality issues have hindered its development in becoming a “global city.” This study used monitoring data on SO2, NO x , acid rain pH, dustfall, and total suspended particles (TSP) from the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center to evaluate and analyze the air quality in urban, suburban, and rural areas during the period 1983–2005. The results showed that the spatial pattern of air parameters was determined by the level of urbanization; thus, the higher the level of urbanization, the worse the air quality. On the whole, the atmospheric environment of the three spatial regions improved gradually because of economical growth and environmental protection since the 1990s. For the entire region of Shanghai, the relationship between the integrated air quality index and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was an N-shaped environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) due to decreasing air quality in suburban and rural areas this century. Thus, environmental controls should be increased in Shanghai, especially in developing suburban and rural areas during rapid urbanization.


Variations Air quality Urbanization Shanghai 



We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers and managing editor for constructive comments and suggestions. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (40971041), the Science and Technology Ministry of China “11th five-year” Key Science and Technology Supported Project (2008BAJ10B04), and Tokyo University of Information Sciences, which is funded by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) support program S0801024.


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Copyright information

© International Consortium of Landscape and Ecological Engineering and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ti-Yuan Xia
    • 1
  • Jun-ying Wang
    • 1
  • Kun Song
    • 1
  • Liang-jun Da
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ScienceEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Shanghai Key Laboratory for Ecology of Urbanization Process and Eco-restorationShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Tiantong National Station of Forest EcosystemShanghaiChina

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