Spatial determinants of urban land conversion in large Chinese cities: a case of Hangzhou
In this research we assessed the urban land conversion, and identified the factors responsible for the conversion, from 1995 to 2009 in Hangzhou, a large city located in the lower Yangtze River Delta of China. We mapped urban land from satellite images by using a hybrid approach of spectral mixture analysis, unsupervised classification, and expert rules. We employed binary logistic regression to model the probability of urban land conversion as a function of spatial independent variables. In recent years Hangzhou started its transformation from a compact, monocentric city to a polycentric city. We found that accessibility to the central business district, industrial centers, roads, Qiantang River, the amount of built-up area in the neighborhood, locations of markets, and spatial policies were the major determinants of Hangzhou’s urban land conversion. Moreover, the availability of land in the neighborhood has become increasingly important in recent years. We identified several major institutional forces underlying Hangzhou’s urban development: administrative annexation and development zones, the increasingly important role of the market, and the unique role of local government. The results from our research indicate the need for policies and plans that can better manage and reduce urban sprawl in Hangzhou.
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