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Urban ecology in China: Historical developments and future directions

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Urban ecology in China: Historical developments and future directions
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  Pleasecitethisarticleinpressas:JianguoWu,   etal.UrbanecologyinChina:Historicaldevelopmentsandfuturedirections. LandscapeUrbanPlan. (2014),http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.02.010 ARTICLE IN PRESS G Model LAND-2519;No.ofPages12LandscapeandUrbanPlanningxxx(2014)xxx–xxx ContentslistsavailableatScienceDirect Landscape   and   Urban   Planning  journalhome   page:www.elsevier.com/locate/landurbplan Research   Paper Urban   ecology   in   China:   Historical   developments   and   future   directions  Jianguo   Wu a , b , ∗ ,   Wei-Ning   Xiang c , d ,    Jingzhu   Zhao e a CenterforHuman-EnvironmentSystemSustainability(CHESS),StateKeyLaboratoryofEarthSurfaceProcessesandResourceEcology(ESPRE),Beijing NormalUniversity,Beijing100875,China b SchoolofLifeSciences&GlobalInstituteofSustainability,ArizonaStateUniversity,Tempe,AZ85287-4501,USA c GlobalInstituteforUrbanandRegionalSustainability(GIURS),ShanghaiKeyLaboratoryforUrbanEcologicalProcessesandEco-Restoration(SHUES),East    ChinaNormalUniversity,Shanghai200241,China d DepartmentofGeographyandEarthSciences,UniversityofNorthCarolinaatCharlotte,NC28223,USA e InstituteofUrbanEnvironment,ChineseAcademyofSciences,Xiamen361021,China h   i   g   h   l   i   g   h   t   s •  China’s   urban   population   rose   from18%in1978   to   about   50%   in   2010. •  Urban   ecology   in   China   started   in   theearly1980s. •  China’s   urban   ecology   hasfocusedonenvironmental   pollution   and   eco-cities. •  Holistic   and   systems   thinking   hasbeenimportant   in   China’s   urban   ecol-ogy. •  Urban   ecology   in   China   is   developingrapidly,   embracing   diverse   ideas   andmethods. g   r   a   p   h   i   c   a   l   a   b   s   t   r   a   c   ta   r   t   i   c   l   e   i   n   f   o  Articlehistory: Availableonlinexxx Keywords: ChinaUrbanizationUrbanecologyEcologyincitiesEcologyofcitiesUrbansustainability a   b   s   tr   a   c   t China   has   the   largest   population   and   the   longest   urban   development   history   in   the   world,   with   prim-itive   cities   first   occurring   along   the   Yellow   River   in   northern   China   more   than   4000   years   ago.   After   along   period   of    stagnation   during   recent   centuries,   urbanization   has   revived   again   in   China   since   the   eco-nomic   reform   in   1978.   Strongly   influenced   bynational   land   use   policy   and   the   history   of    urbanizationafter   1949,   China’s   urban   ecology   hasgone   through   three   development   periods:   the   emergent   period(1983–1989),   the   early   growth   period   (1990–1999),   and   the   rapid   development   period   (2000–present).Inthis   paper,   we   first   provide   ahistorical   review   of    urbanization   and   urban   ecology   in   China;   based   onthis   retrospective   analysis,   we   further   identify   the   main   characteristics   of,   and   missing   links   in,   China’surban   ecological   research;   andfinally   we   suggest   future   research   directions.   The   amount   and   scope   of research   in   urban   ecology   andenvironment   conducted   in   China   since   the   1980s   are   impressive.   Not   onlydid   Chinese   scholars   import   Western   ideas   todevelop   urban   ecological   science,   but   also   they   have   pro-moted   aholistic,   use-inspired,   transdisciplinary   philosophy   for   studying   and   managing   urban   systems   –whichhasunique   Chinese   characteristics.   After   more   than   5000   years   of    being   predominantly   agrarian,China   isnow   urban,   and   will   become   only   more   urban   in   the   future.   This   continued   fast   urbanizationmakes   China   a   living   laboratory   for   studying   urbanization,   and   China’s   urban   ecology   seems   poised   tomake   strides   in   the   coming   decades.©   2014   Elsevier   B.V.   All   rights   reserved. ∗ Correspondingauthorat:SchoolofLifeSciences,ArizonaStateUniversity,Tempe,AZ85287-4501,USA.Tel.:+14809651063. E-mailaddress:  Jingle.Wu@asu.edu(JianguoWu).http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.02.0100169-2046/©2014ElsevierB.V.Allrightsreserved.  Pleasecitethisarticleinpressas:JianguoWu,   etal.UrbanecologyinChina:Historicaldevelopmentsandfuturedirections. LandscapeUrbanPlan. (2014),http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.02.010 ARTICLE IN PRESS G Model LAND-2519;No.ofPages122  JianguoWuetal./LandscapeandUrbanPlanningxxx(2014)xxx–xxx 1.Introduction Oneofthemostsalientfeaturesthatcharacterizehumancivi-lizationduringthepastmillenniumisacceleratingurbanization.AccordingtotheUnitedNations(http://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/),morethanhalfoftheworld’spopulationnowlivesinurbanareas,andalmostallfutureglobalpopulationgrowthwilltakeplaceinurbanareas.Theworld’spopulationwillcontinuetourbanizeevenafteritstopsgrowingaround2050,andwehaveentered“thecen-turyofthecity”(Anonymous,2010).Urbanizationseemsbotha driverfor,andaconsequenceof,socioeconomicdevelopment,cul-turaltransformation,andtechnologicalinvention.Higherlevelsof urbanizationoftencorrespondtohigherlevelsofeconomicandsocialdevelopmentatthenationalandregionalscales,buturban-itesusuallyhavesubstantiallygreaterandmorediversedemandsforresourceconsumptionthanagrarians,thusadverselyaffect-ingecosystemsandlandscapesatthelocalandregionalscales.Assuch,theecologicalfootprintofcontemporarycities–theland(andwater)areaneededtosupportanurbanpopulationforresourceconsumptionandwastedisposal–isoftentenstohundredsof timeslargerthantheirphysicalsize(Luck,Jenerette,Wu,   &Grimm,2001;Rees&Wackernagel,1996).Althoughcitiesoftenareenginesofeconomicgrowthandcentersofcultureandinnovation,theyarealsofrequentlythehubsofincreasingenvironmentalpollution,infectiousdiseases,andsocialinequity(Redman&Jones,2005;Wu,2008a,2010).Asanincreasingmajorityofhumanswillresideincities,improv-inghumanwell-beingwhilepreservingtheenvironmentwithinandbeyondurbanareasisagreatchallenge.Thisisespeciallytruefordevelopingcountriesbecausetheircitiesarefacedwithmoresevereenvironmentalandsocioeconomicproblemsandbecausetheirsmall-andmedium-sizedcitieswillbehometomostofthefutureurbangrowth(Redman&Jones,2005;Wu,   2008a).Tomeetthischallenge,wehavetobetterunderstandtheecologyandsus-tainabilityofcities.Asnotedelsewhere(e.g.,McDonnell,2011;Wu,2014,thisvolume),theterms–urbanecologyandurbansustaina-bility–havevariousconnotations.Here,weadoptthedefinitionsinWu(2014):Urbanecologyis“thestudyofspatiotemporalpat- terns,environmentalimpacts,andsustainabilityofurbanizationwithemphasisonbiodiversity,ecosystemprocesses,andecosys-temservices,”and“urbansustainabilityis ... anadaptiveprocessoffacilitatingandmaintainingavirtuouscyclebetweenecosystemservicesandhumanwell-beingthroughconcertedecological,eco-nomic,andsocialactionsinresponsetochangeswithinandbeyondtheurbanlandscape.”AsillustratedinFig.1,ecosystemservices, asbenefitsthatpeoplederivefrombiodiversityandecosystemfunctions,provideakeynexusthatlinksurbanecologyandsus-tainability.Urbanecologyclearlyhasan“ecological”focuswhileconsideringanumberofsocioeconomicandplanningprocessesthatinfluenceorinteractwiththe“ecologyincities”and“ecologyof cities”(Grimm,   Grove,Pickett,&Redman,2000;Pickettetal.,2001;Wu,   2008a,2014).Ontheotherhand,thecentralissueinurbansustainabilityishumanwell-being,whichdependsonecosystemservices,andthus“sustainabilityofcities”requiresmaintainingandimprovingbothecosystemservicesandhumanwell-beingforthelong-term.Urbanecologyandurbansustainability(science)inevitablyoverlapwitheachother,butdifferencescanbeseenincross-disciplinarity,mainresearchfoci,andmajorparticipatingdisciplines.China,asadevelopingcountryandamajoremergingeconomyoftheworld,hasbeenurbanizingatarecordspeedwithrapideconomicdevelopmentduringthepastthreedecades.Themyr-iadenvironmentalproblemsinducedbyurbanizationinChinaaresimilartothoseencounteredinmanydevelopingcountriestodayandinmanydevelopedcountriesduringtheirintensiveindus-trializationseveraldecadesago.Asoneofthefastesturbanizingnationsandwithmorethanonefifthoftheworld’spopula-tion,Chinahasacriticallyimportantroletoplayinpromotingurbansustainability.Indeed,theChinesegovernmenthasplacedanincreasingemphasisonurbandevelopmentinthepastseveraldecades,attemptingtoguidethetrajectoryofurbanizationthroughanumberofinstitutionalchangesandreforms(Huang,2006;Wang,2013a).Furthermore,Chinesescholarshavemuchtosharewiththerestoftheworldastheiruniqueexperienceinurbanecologicalresearchdatesbacktotheearly1980s–wellbeforeurbanecologybecamemainstreaminNorthAmericaandotherpartsoftheworld.ItisthustimelytoreviewsomeofthekeycharacteristicsinChina’surbandevelopmentandurbanecologicalresearch.Specifically,thispaperhasthreedistinctyetinterrelatedobjectives.First,we   brieflyreviewurbandevelopmentinChina,identifyingmajorcharacteristicsinurbanlandscapedynamicsdur-ingthepastfewdecades.Asurbanecologicalstudiesoftenfocusontheinteractionsamongbiodiversity,ecologicalprocesses,andland-scapepattern,allofwhichareinfluencedbyurbanplanningandmyriadsociopoliticalfactors,theirtheoreticalframeworks,domi-nantmethodologies,andemphasizedapplicationsareinfluencedbyculture.Thus,oursecondobjectiveistoreviewthehistoricaldevelopmentofChina’surbanecologyasithasbeenshapedbyitsown   historyofurbanization.Basedonthisretrospectiveanalysis,ourthirdobjectiveistoidentifymaincharacteristicsofurbanecol-ogyinChinaandmissinglinksinitsdevelopment,withsuggestedfuturedirections. 2.UrbandevelopmentinChina Chinahasthelongesthistoryofurbanizationintheworld,withninedevelopmentperiods(Wu,   1988;Xu,Zhou,&Ning,2009).ReviewingtheurbanhistoryofChinaindetailisbeyondthescopeofthispaper,andsuchpublicationsexist(e.g.,Huang,2006;Lu,Yao,Li,Liu,&Gao,2007;Wu,   1988;Xuetal.,2009).Inthissection,weprovideasuccinctoverviewofChina’surbandevelopmenttofacil-itateourdiscussionandunderstandingofChina’surbanecology.Herewe   usetheterm“urbanization”torefertothedevelopmentandexpansionofcitiesandregardcitiesbroadlyasareaswithhighconcentrationsofpeopleandhuman-madestructures.  2.1.China’surbanizationbefore1949:Fivedevelopmentperiods ArcheologicalevidenceindicatesthattheearliestChinesecitiesoccurredalongthelowerandmiddlereachesoftheYellowRivermorethan4000yearsago(theXiaDynasty–theShangDynastyinChinesehistory)(Xuetal.,2009).AccordingtoXuetal.(2009),the longhistoryofurbanizationinChinabefore1949canbedividedintofiveperiods:(1)emergenceandnascentdevelopmentofcitiesbetweentheShangDynastyandtheSpringandAutumnPeriod(2000BC–770BC),(2)urbandevelopmentoftheearlyfeudalsoci-etybetweentheSpringandAutumnPeriodandHanDynasty(770BC–206BC),(3)urbandevelopmentofthemid-termfeudalsoci-etybetweenHanDynastyandYuanDynasty(206BC–1279AD),(4)urbandevelopmentofthelatefeudalsocietybetweenYuanDynastyandtheFirstOpiumWar   (1279–1840),and(5)urbandevelopmentoftheearlymodernerabetweentheOpiumWar   andthefoundingofthePeople’sRepublicofChina(1840–1949).DuringthefirsttwoperiodsofurbandevelopmentinChina(about2000BC–206BC),citiesweremainlypoliticalandmilitarycenterswithfewotherfunctions,andtheybegantoassumemajoreconomicfunctionsduringthethirdurbandevelopmentperiod(206BC–1279AD)(Wu,   1988;Xuetal.,2009).ThetotalnumberofcitiesinChinawas   800–900inQinDynasty(221–207BC)whenChinawasunified,andreached1500bytheendofWesternHanDynastyatthebeginningofthefirstcenturyA.D.(Wu,   1988).Inthe  Pleasecitethisarticleinpressas:JianguoWu,   etal.UrbanecologyinChina:Historicaldevelopmentsandfuturedirections. LandscapeUrbanPlan. (2014),http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.02.010 ARTICLE IN PRESS G Model LAND-2519;No.ofPages12  JianguoWu   etal./LandscapeandUrbanPlanningxxx(2014)xxx–xxx 3 Fig.1. Illustrationoftherelationshipamong“ecologyincities,”“ecologyofcities,”and“sustainabilityofcities.”Urbanecologyfocusesmainlyonecology in and of  cities,and   overlapswithurbansustainabilitysciencemainlythroughecosystemservicesthatlinkbiodiversityandecosystemprocesseswithhumanwell-beinginspatiallypatchylandscapes.Thespatiotemporalpatternsofboththeurbanlandscapeandecosystemserviceswithinareaffectednotonlybyurbangreen-scapeandblue-space(water),butalso   byasuiteofsocioeconomic,institutional,andplanningandmanagementprocesses. beginningofthe19thcentury,Beijingwastheonlycityintheworldwithapopulationofover1million,followedbyLondonwhichhad959thousandresidents(Xuetal.,2009).However,aftertheOpium War   (1840–1842),China’surbandevelopmentsufferedforalongperiodoftime,duemainlytoforeigninvasionsandcivilwars.In1850,London’spopulation(2.3million)farexceededthatofBei- jing(1.65million),andfrom1843to1949China’surbanizationlevel(i.e.,percentofthetotalpopulationthatisurban)increasedbymerely5.5%whiletheworld’surbanizationlevelby22.8%(Xuetal.,2009).So,China’surbandevelopmentstartedearlier,butfellbehindaftertheindustrialrevolution.  2.2.China’surbanizationafter1949:Fourdevelopmentperiods NumerousrecentstudiesbybothChineseandinternationalresearchershavefocusedonthespatiotemporalpatterns,drivers,andsocioeconomicandenvironmentalconsequencesofChina’surbanizationinthepastseveraldecades(Chen&Bao,1994;Gaubatz,1999;Huang,2006;Liu,Zhan,&Deng,2005;Luetal.,2007;Wu,   1988).MostoftheserecognizestrikingdifferencesinurbanizationratesbeforeandafterthebeginningofChina’seco-nomicreformin1978.China’stotalpopulationincreasedfrom0.54billionin1949to13.4billionin2010,significantlycontributingtothegrowthoftheworld’spopulation.However,itsannualgrowthratewas   generallylowerthanthatoftheworld,exceptforthelate1960sandearly1970s.Duringthesameperiod,China’surbanpop-ulationincreasedfrom58millionin1949toabout670millionin2010.ThenumberofChinesecitieswithmorethan1millionpeopleincreasedto12in1955and197in2010atanacceleratingrate.In1949,China’surbanizationlevelwasabout10%whereastheglobalurbanizationlevelwasabout29%.Forthefollowing61years,theurbanizationlevelofChinawasalwaysbelowthatoftheworld,butthegapquicklybecamenarrowerwithChina’surbanizationlevelincreasingto50%in2010whiletheworld’spopulationarrivedatthe50%markin2007(Fig.2).By2050,theurbanizationlevelof  Chinaisprojectedtobe77.5%when67.2%oftheworld’spopula-tionwillbeurban.China’ssustainedrapidurbanizationduringthepastfewdecadeswasdrivenmainlybychangesinlanduseandurbandevelopmentpolicies,demographictransitions(agrarianstonon-agriculturalpopulations),andenormouseconomicgrowth(Chen&Bao,1994;Liuetal.,2005;Wu,   1988;Ye,Xu,&Yi,2006).TheincreaseinChina’sGDPanditsurbanizationrateishighlycorrelated,andtheincreaserateofGDPgrewevenfasterthanurbanizationsince1990.Inaninsightfulanalysis,Yeetal.(2006)identifiedfourphases(orwaves)ofcontemporaryurbanizationinChinasince1949(Fig.2).PhaseI(1949–1977)wascharacterizedby industrialization-orientedurbanizationatacontrolledspeed,  Pleasecitethisarticleinpressas:JianguoWu,   etal.UrbanecologyinChina:Historicaldevelopmentsandfuturedirections. LandscapeUrbanPlan. (2014),http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.02.010 ARTICLE IN PRESS G Model LAND-2519;No.ofPages124  JianguoWuetal./LandscapeandUrbanPlanningxxx(2014)xxx–xxx Fig.2. Temporaldynamicsoftheurbanizationlevels(%urbanpopulation)forChinaandtheworld(dataforChinabetween1950and2010compiledfromthe2012andpreviousversionsofChinaPopulationandEmploymentStatisticsYearbookpublishedbytheNationalBureauofStatisticsofChina,http://www.stats.gov.cn/,andtherestof the   dataallfromhttp://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/).ThepercentruralpopulationsforChinaandtheworldarealsoplottedhereforcomparison.Somemajorsociopoliticaleventsin   therecentChinesehistoryarenotedtoindicatekeydriversofurbanization. duringwhichtheurbanizationlevelwaslow(<20%),urbanpoliciesweredictatedbytraditionalsocialisteconomicdevelopmentdog-mas,andurbandevelopmentgearedtowardheavy(orlarge-scale)industry,ignoringurbaninfrastructureandservicesindustries.Consequently,mostChinesecitiesweretransformedinto,orconstructedas,“productioncenters”or“industrialbases”(Yeetal.,2006).Thiscombinationofslowurbandevelopmentandrapidbuildingofindustrialbasehasbeenreferredtoas“under-urbanization,”whichcontrastswith“over-urbanization”thatisoftenobservedinmostotherdevelopingcountries(Huang,2006).Duringthisperiod,severalmajorpoliticalmovements,especiallytheGreatLeapForward(1958–1961)andtheCulturalRevolution(1966–1976),severelydisruptedthecourseofurbanization(Fig.2).TheurbanizationlevelabruptlyincreasedduringtheGreatLeapduetotensofmillionsofpeasantspouringintoindustrialplantsincities(spuriousurbanizationorover-urbanization;Yeetal.,2006),butdroppedduringtheCulturalRevolutionwhentensofmillionsofyoungpeopleweresenttothecountryside(Fig.2).PhaseII(1978–1989)coversthefirst12yearsofChina’scurrenteconomicreformera,duringwhichChinawastransitioningfromacommandeconomytoasocialistmarketeconomy.Thisperiodwascharacterizedbyfasturbanizationwithfasterindustrialization.ThethrustofChina’surbandevelopmentpoliciesinthisperiodwastohighlypromotesmallcities,properlydevelopmedium-sizedcities,andcontroltheexpansionofmetropolises(Fang,2009).China’s open-doorpolicywasabletoattractforeigninvestmenttobecomeamajordriverofrapideconomicdevelopmentthatfueledurban-ization.Consequently,China’surbanizationlevelincreasedby8.5%(Fig.2),withmuchoftheurbanizationtakingplaceintheeast coastregion(Chen&Bao,1994;Wu,   1988;Yeetal.,2006).Amainfeatureofurbanizationduringthisperiodwasthephenomenonofruralindustrialization–ruralareasturningintotownsandcitieswithmanufacturingplantsandpeasantsbecomingurbanresidentswithoutmigration.Asaresult,urbanizationseriouslyfellbehindindustrialization(Yeetal.,2006).PhaseIII(1990–1999)wascharacterizedbyrapidurbanizationwithurbanlandscapereconfiguration.Duringthisperiod,China’surbanpolicyremainedfocusingondevelopingsmallandmediumcities(Fang,2009).Urbangrowthandurbanlandexpansion continued,andtheurbanizationlevelincreasedby10%(Fig.2).Furthereconomicreformandlandusepolicychangesfurtherpro-motedrapidurbanexpansionandreconfigurationofcitieswithrenovationofoldcitydistrictsandconstructionofnewurbanareas,includingnewcities,high-techparks,industrialdevelopmentparks,andcentralbusinessdistricts(Yeetal.,2006).Thesechanges leadtodisorderedurbansprawl,lossofagriculturalland,andsevereenvironmentaldegradation(Huang,2006;Liuetal.,2005;Luetal.,2007;Yeetal.,2006).TheyalsopropelledChinesecitiestochangefromworkunit-oriented,production-dominatedcitiestomulti-functionalmoderncities,andconsequentlyurbanresidentswerefreedfromthestrictconstraintsofadministrativeregulationsasso-ciatedwithworkunits(Huang,2006;Yeetal.,2006).PhaseIV(2000–present)ischaracterizedbyChinesegov-ernment’sincreasingemphasisonhigh-qualityandhealthyurbanization.After22yearsofrapidurbanizationfrom1978to2000,China’surbaninfrastructureandservicesindustrieslaggedbehinditseconomicandsocialdevelopment,andthisproblembecamequiteapparentintheearly2000s(Yeetal.,2006).To overcomethisproblem,China’surbandevelopmentpoliciesexplic-itlydemandcoordinateddevelopmentofurbanagglomerations,large,medium,andsmallcities,andtowns,whilepromoting“high-quality”and“healthy”urbanization,improvinglanduseefficiency,andoptimizingthelandscapepatternforsustainability(Fang,2009).Since2000,theChinesegovernmenthasplacedincreasingemphasisondevelopingtertiary(services)industries,particularlyproducerservicesindustries(Yeetal.,2006),whichinclude“adver- tising,computeranddataprocessingservices,personnelsupplyservices,managementandbusinessconsultingservices,protectiveanddetectiveservices,servicestodwellingsandotherbuildings,legalservices,accountingandauditingservices,andengineeringandarchitecturalservices”(Tschetter,1987).Astheurbangrowth ratecontinuestopickupspeedintermsofbothurbanpopulationandlandarea,severalmajorcityclusters–urbanagglomerationsormegalopolises–haveemerged.Theseincludethethreemajorones–thePearlRiverDeltaUrbanAgglomeration,theYangtzeRiverDeltaUrbanAgglomeration,andtheBeijing-Tianjin-TangshanUrbanAgglomeration,aswellasadozenregional-levelmega-lopolisessuchastheShandongPeninsulaUrbanAgglomeration,the  Pleasecitethisarticleinpressas:JianguoWu,   etal.UrbanecologyinChina:Historicaldevelopmentsandfuturedirections. LandscapeUrbanPlan. (2014),http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.02.010 ARTICLE IN PRESS G Model LAND-2519;No.ofPages12  JianguoWu   etal./LandscapeandUrbanPlanningxxx(2014)xxx–xxx 5 Shenyang-DalianUrbanAgglomeration,andtheHohhot-Baotou-Ordos-YulinUrbanAgglomeration(Fang,Song,Zhang,&Li,2005;Yeetal.,2006).  2.3.SomekeyfeaturesofrecenturbanizationinChina China’srapidurbanizationsincetheeconomicreformin1978hasbeendrivenbytheexponentialgrowthofnationalGDP.Reviewingurbanizationaroundtheworld,RedmanandJones(2005)identifiedfourbasicprocessesunderlyingurbangrowth:(1)ruraltourbanmigration,(2)naturalincrease,(3)cross-borderimmigration,and(4)reclassificationoflandfromruraltourbancat-egories.Twoofthefourprocesses–ruraltourbanmigrationandlandreclassification–definitelyhaveplayedanimportantroleinChina’sfasturbanizationduringitscurrentreformera.However,thespecificdrivingprocessesandmechanismsofChina’surban-izationdiffersubstantiallyfromthoseintheWesterncountriesinseveralways(Fang,2009;Huang,2006;Liuetal.,2005;Luetal.,2007;Yeetal.,2006).Gaubatz(1999)indicatedthat“Thephysi- caltransformationofChineseurbanformisbothaconsequenceof socialandeconomicchangessuchastherestructuringofemploy-mentandinvestmentpatternsandacontributortochangessuchasthegrowingneedfortransportandhousingalternatives.”ThemajordeterminantsofthelandscapepatternsofChina’surban-izationincludethetop-downadministrativehierarchy,nationalpoliciesonlanduseandpopulationmobility,andthe“socialis-ticmarketeconomy.”Thus,severalsalientanduniquefeaturesofChina’srecenturbanization,summarizedbelow,allhavehadappreciableimprintsonurbanecologicalstudiesinChina.First,thespeedandscaleofurbanizationofChina’srecenturbanizationwavesweretrulycolossal–unprecedentedinthehistoryoftheworld(Figs.1and2).Asaresult,landscapes acrossthecountryhavebeenextremelydynamicduringtheeconomicreformera.Thisisespeciallytruefortheeasterncoastalregionsduringthepastthreedecadesandalmostevery-whereelsesincethemid-1990s.Second,thebreakneckratesof urbanizationwereoftenaccompaniedwithhastyandecologi-callyunsoundpre-developmentplanninganddesignatlocalandregionalscales,resultinginsevereenvironmentpollution,seriouslydamagedecosystems,andhighlyfragmentedlandscapes.Third,urbanexpansionwasextremelyuneveninspaceandtime:therateofurbanizationincreased,especiallysincetheearly1990s;small-andmedium-sizedcitiesgrewfasterthanlargeones;andcitiescoalescedtoformmegalopolisesorurbanclustersacrossbroadregions.Fourth,auniqueandwide-spreadlandscapepatterncreatedbyrapidurbanizationinChinais“desakota”(fromIndonesianword desa meaning“village”and kota meaning“city”),referringtotheamalgamationofcitiesandsurroundingagriculturalareas(McGee,1991).“Theessentialfeatureofthesedesakotazonesisthatthelandscapeappearsessentiallyruralandalmostallthelandisstillundercultivationyetalargeproportionofhouseholdincomeisderivedfromnon-agriculturalsourcesbecausethelocaleconomyhasexpandedtoincludecottageindustry,industrialestate,andsuburbandevelopment”(Cohen,2006).Thesedesakotalandscapes arecomplexsocial-economic-ecologicalsystems,whichusuallyhavedensepopulations,fastgrowingnon-agriculturalactivities,highlabormobilityandoccupationalfluidity,andinterdigitatedlandusemosaics(Xie,Yu,Bai,&Xing,2006).Similartodesakota, “urbanvillages”(villageswithincities)alsohaveappearedasaresultofrapidurbanization,whicharecharacterizedbylittleorweakinstitutionalregulation,mixedruralandurbanculturesandsocialnorms,andhighconcentrationsofmigrantworkers(Liuetal.,2005;Liu,He,Wu,   &Webster,2010;Song&Zenou,2012).Fifth,urbanagglomerationthroughcoalescenceofexistingandexpand-ingcitieshasbecomeasalientfeatureofChina’surbanizationin Fig.3. TheriseofChina’surbanecologyasindicatedbypublicationsinChinese journalsbetweenJanuary1990andAugust2013(datafor2013wereincompleteat   thetimeofanalysis).(A)thenumberofjournalarticles(366intotal);(B)thenumberofcitationsinagivenyeartoallpreviouslypublishedChinesejournalarticlesonurbanecology(2061citationsintotal);and(C)Chinesejournalsthatpublished10ormorearticlesonurbanecologybetween1990and2013.DatawereobtainedbysearchingarticletitlesintheChineseScienceCitationDatabase(CSCD;http://sciencechina.cn/;accessedSeptember15,2013),withthefollowingChinesephrasesaskeywords:“”(urbanecology,urbanecological),“”(urbangreenspace),“”(urbanbiodiversity),and“”(urbanplantbiodiversity). thepastdecade.ThishasledtothelossofagriculturallandandhabitatforbiodiversityatanunprecedentedrateinChina’shistory.Theecologicalandenvironmentalconsequencesoftheserapidlyadvancingurbanagglomerationsareyettobeunderstood. 3.DevelopmentofurbanecologyinChina Urbanecology,asafieldofresearch,emergedaround1925,duelargelytotheworkoftheChicagoschoolofhumanecology
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