Coupling coordination analysis and spatio-temporal heterogeneity between urbanization and eco-environment along the Silk Road Economic Belt in China


Rapid urbanization in China in recent decades has given rise to increasingly serious ecological and environmental problems. Specifically, the provinces along the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) in China have experienced rapid urbanization, and need to take pro-active action in balancing urbanization development with eco-environment conservation. This paper aims to develop comprehensive urbanization and eco-environment (UAEE) evaluation models to explore UAEE development of SREB in China from 2004 to 2018. In terms of methodology, these evaluation models are subsequently combined with CCDM (Coupling coordination degree model) and GTWR (Geographically and Temporally Weighted Regression) models to measure and analyze coupling degree and spatio-temporal heterogeneity of UAEE. The results show that: Firstly, from 2004 to 2018 in all regions of the SREB, the urbanization showed a gradual upward trend. Among them, comprehensive urbanization index (CUI) of Guangxi increased by 3.067%. Secondly, the comprehensive eco-environment index (CEI) of Chongqing, Sichuan, Guangxi, Shaanxi and Gansu has improved; while the eco-environment quality of Yunnan, Qinghai, Ningxia and Xinjiang has deteriorated during this period, with the rate of decrease in Xinjiang reaching a significant 2%; Thirdly, in 2018, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guangxi, Shaanxi and Gansu are in a state of high coordination level with the eco-environment under the rapid urbanization process, while Yunnan, Qinghai, Ningxia and Xinjiang are at a moderate coordination level. Since 2011, these areas are in a state of lagging development of the eco-environment. Finally, the interactive relationship between UAEE tends to converge. There is heterogeneity in time and space among SREB regions. The negative interaction effect of UAEE is mainly focused on the northwest regions. In conclusion, this research will provide a basis of scientific evaluation for the coordinated degree of UAEE, promote regional urbanization vis-à-vis the improvement in environmental policy making.

Publication Title

Ecological Indicators