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Evaluating China's urban environmental sustainability with Data Envelopment Analysis

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  • Yu, Yan
  • Wen, Zongguo

Abstract

China's rapid urbanization has been characterized by excessive economic growth and a series of environmental issues. The urban environmental sustainability of 46 typical Chinese cities in 2007 was evaluated with Data Envelopment Analysis in this paper, and the Malmquist Productivity Index was used to identify the change within 2006-2007. This analysis employed indicators from economic, environmental, and resource sub-systems which are frequently involved in the concept of environmental sustainability. We introduced projecting and benchmarking as two possible approaches for less sustainable cities to refer to their peers. Based on the computed results and empirical analysis, the roles of GDP per capita, city scale, and industrial structure as influence factors of environmental sustainability were explored; and the regional disparity of urban environmental sustainability was also investigated. The results show: (1) 24% of the sample cities (e.g. Beijing, Hohhot, etc.) are relatively "environmentally sustainable." The efficiency scores of Urumqi rank the last. (2) GDP per capita, city scale, and industrial structure factors all exert significant influence on urban environmental sustainability. (3) The environmental sustainability of southeast cities leads the 6 major Chinese regions, and cities around the Bohai area are rapidly approaching environmental sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Yu, Yan & Wen, Zongguo, 2010. "Evaluating China's urban environmental sustainability with Data Envelopment Analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 1748-1755, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:9:p:1748-1755
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sueyoshi, Toshiyuki & Yuan, Yan & Goto, Mika, 2017. "A literature study for DEA applied to energy and environment," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 104-124.
    2. Charles-Henri DiMaria, 2014. "Sustainability matters," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 1257-1269, May.
    3. Firnkorn, Jörg & Müller, Martin, 2011. "What will be the environmental effects of new free-floating car-sharing systems? The case of car2go in Ulm," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(8), pages 1519-1528, June.
    4. William H. Alfonso Piña & Clara Inés Pardo Martínez, 2016. "Development and Urban Sustainability: An Analysis of Efficiency Using Data Envelopment Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(2), pages 1-15, February.
    5. Wang, Zhaohua & Feng, Chao, 2015. "A performance evaluation of the energy, environmental, and economic efficiency and productivity in China: An application of global data envelopment analysis," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 617-626.
    6. Béchir Ben Lahouel, 2016. "Eco-efficiency analysis of French firms: a data envelopment analysis approach," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(3), pages 395-416, July.
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:2:p:148:d:63425 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Yang, Wen-Chi & Lee, Yuh-Ming & Hu, Jin-Li, 2016. "Urban sustainability assessment of Taiwan based on data envelopment analysis," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 341-353.

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