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Urban Compaction and Its Impacts on Urban Development in China

A Case Study of Beijing



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Urban Compaction and Its Impacts on Urban Development in China by Yongqing Xie
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This dissertation, "Urban Compaction and Its Impacts on Urban Development in China: a Case Study of Beijing" by Yongqing, Xie, 解永庆, was obtained from The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong) and is being sold pursuant to Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License. The content of this dissertation has not been altered in any way. We have altered the formatting in order to facilitate the ease of printing and reading of the dissertation. All rights not granted by the above license are retained by the author. Abstract: Compact cities, as opposed to the urban sprawl, are being advocated in many countries and regions. As a sustainable urban form, these have significant implications on the pursuit of economic, social, and environmental sustainability. However, despite their advantages, compact cities have negative impacts on urban development. Both positive and negative impacts are derived from developed countries. However, whether these impacts are applicable to developing countries remains uncertain. This research aims to examine the development and impacts of urban compaction in China. Guided by land use policies, compact development in Beijing is currently being promoted through the intensification of existing construction areas rather than the development of new large-scale areas. This research aims to explore the development of urban compactness from the perspective of time and spatial dimensions and examine the impact of compact development. To carry out this research, this thesis reviews the relevant theories on compact cities characterized as high-density developments and mixed-use developments of construction areas that have a well developed public transport system. These compact cities can be achieved through urban intensification. In this work, an indicator system for measuring urban compactness based on the features of compact cities (e.g., high-density development, mixed-use development, and public transport system) is proposed. The development of the urban compactness of an entire city during the period of 1992-2007 is also calculated according to the indicator system. In addition, the development of urban compactness in the different regions of inner city districts, outer city districts, and new towns in 1996, 2001, and 2006 are also studied. Given that compact cities have a significant impact on urban development, some indicators that reveal economic, social, and environmental development are utilized to test the impact of compact cities in Beijing through statistical studies and semi-structured interviews. The results of evaluating the urban compactness development from the entire city perspective indicate rapid population growth and urbanization, along with the rapid increase of urban density in Beijing. Compared with high-density development, mixed use development has not been as rapid. With the mass construction of the subways and the increase in the provision of public buses, the development of public transport has also improved significantly. Following these results, the impact of urban compaction is analyzed, and compact development appeared to be beneficial to economic, social and environmental development, although some of its benefits have not been embodied fully. This research further examines the spatial development of urban compactness. The findings reveal that land use in the central city has become increasingly compact and that the potential for urban compactness could be further enhanced in the outer city districts. In new towns where the urban sprawl is quite severe, high-density development and mixed-use development should be promoted. To increase accessibility, the public transport system should be further improved. By analyzing the development of urban compactness, this study suggests that the support facilities and services in Beijing are insufficient compared with population growth and urbanization occurring in
Release date NZ
January 26th, 2017
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Country of Publication
United States
colour illustrations
Open Dissertation Press
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