QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF URBAN EXPANSION IN CENTRAL CHINA
Keywords: Urban Landscape, Dynamic Changes, Metropolitan Areas, Centre China
Abstract. Quantifying urban expansion forms is important to understanding regional urbanization processes and urban planning. For this purpose, conventional landscape indices are commonly used for quantitative analysis of urban landscape patterns. However, these landscape indices only reflect information for one particular temporal phase of landscape patterns. This paper studies and quantifies the dynamic changes of urban landscape from 1993 to 2006 in Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan metropolitan areas in Hunan province of China using landscape expansion index (LEI), which contains information of the formation processes of landscape patterns. The results indicate that there are three types of urban expansions: infilling, edge-expansion and outlying in the study area. The change of proportion of the three urban expansion types reveals that urban expansion patterns have changed from a messy, dispersed early development phase to more compact and reasonable layout from 1993 to 2006. Moreover, the urban expansion modes varied in different periods. From 1993 to 1996, the edge-expansion and outlying were the main types of urban expansion forms, indicating an early stage of rapid urban developments. Comparing with the edge-expansion, the outlying expansion increased rapidly in this period, which indicates urban development is messy and dispersion. Overall, the edge-expansion was the major type of urban expansion form during the study period with outlying as the second and rapidly-increasing major form of expansion prior to 1998, which indicates urbanization is in the early stage of rapid urban developments, and infilling as the second and rapidly-increasing major form of expansion after 1998.