Weifeng Li, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Jiansheng Wu & Qian LIn, Peking University - Shenzhen Graduate School, Shenzhen, China

Presentation Title: Vegetation cover dynamics associated with rapid urbanization in China's metropolitan areas (1998-2010)



How vegetation cover has been affected by different urbanization trajectories in China's major metropolitan areas has rarely been studied. In this research, DMSP/OLS night-time light time series images and SPOT-VGT satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was used to evaluate effects of urbanization on vegetation cover in the six major metropolitan areas (urban agglomerations) in East China over the last decade. Urbanization dynamics at regional scales were mapped with the night-time light data and used to identify different urbanization trajectories based on the temporal signatures. The NDVI were then added to study the characteristics and change of vegetation cover in the areas with different urbanization trajectories.

Key Lessons Learned

  • Vegetation cover decreases with an increase in level of urbanization.
  • If compared to the average change rate of NDVI in the non-urban areas (which in fact showed an improvement trend in all the six regions), the results indicate a negative average change in vegetation cover in all of the selected metropolitan areas.
  • The decreasing rate accelerated at the early stage of urbanization and recovered in the later stage of urbanization; the peak value appears in different stages across different regions.

Policy/Practice Implications of Research

  • Different patterns of NDVI changes are closely linked with policy-oriented differences in urbanization dynamics of these regions.
  • Implementing a sustainable regional growth policy is key.