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Spatiotemporal evolution of urbanization and its implications to urban planning of the megacity, Shanghai, China

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Abstract

Context

Urbanization has profoundly changed urban landscape patterns and morphologies. Understanding the spatiotemporal evolution of these changes and their driving forces is vital to decision making for urban planning and sustainable urban development.

Objectives

This study aims to quantify the spatiotemporal pattern of urban growth in Shanghai, China for testing urban growth hypotheses, to identify its driving factors, and to provide insights for sustainable urban planning.

Methods

We fitted a nonlinear curve to the urbanization pattern, employed landscape expansion indices to quantify the spatiotemporal evolution of urbanization, utilized partial least square regression to differentiate contribution of main socioeconomic driving factors.

Results

Urbanized land in Shanghai exhibited a logistic growth pattern from 1985 to 2015. The annual growth rate of urban area showed a wave-like pattern and peaked in 2000–2005. Urban growth modes of leapfrog, edge expansion, and infilling were identified, and these patterns alternates in dominance over time. The urbanization process in Shanghai followed the spiraling diffusion-coalescence hypothesis. The net increase of year-end residential population, urban infrastructure investment, and the total investment in fixed assets were the dominant driving factors to urban growth.

Conclusion

A logistic curve well quantified the temporal pattern of urbanization in Shanghai. Urbanization has slowed down, approaching the plateau of the curve, implying that urban growth driven by population increase and investment should switch to sustainable urban renewal and ecological constructions. Investment to urban green and blue infrastructures could help achieve “negative growth” targeted by the Shanghai Master Plan (2017–2035) for the overall developed land.

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Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Dr. Xiaoping Liu in the School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-Sen University for providing the new updated GAUD dataset for reference. We also thank the two anonymous reviewers for their comments and constructive suggestions.

Funding

This work was partly supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFC0505701 to J. Li), the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31870453 to J. Li, Grant No. 32001162 to C. Wu, Grant No. 31971485 to C. Wang, and Grant No. 31528004 to C. Song), Guangdong Foundation for Program of Science and Technology Research (Grant No. 2020B1212060048, and Grant No. 2019B121201004 to C. Li), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation 2021M702131 to C. Wu, and the Joint-PhD project of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and The University of Melbourne to J. Li and A. Hahs.

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Authors

Contributions

Conceptualization: JL, Data preparation: CWU, LO, HX, JW, MZ and XB, Methodology: CWU and CL, Writing: CWU, Editing: JL, CS, TQ, CWA, DH, AH and MF.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Junxiang Li or Chunfang Wang.

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Wu, C., Li, C., Ouyang, L. et al. Spatiotemporal evolution of urbanization and its implications to urban planning of the megacity, Shanghai, China. Landsc Ecol 38, 1105–1124 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-022-01578-7

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