Main content area

Embedding ecological sensitivity analysis and new satellite town construction in an agent-based model to simulate urban expansion in the beijing metropolitan region, China

Kong, Lingqiang, Tian, Guangjin, Ma, Bingran, Liu, Xiaojuan
Ecological indicators 2017 v.82 pp. 233-249
cropland, decision making, issues and policy, land use change, planning, politics, residential areas, simulation models, towns, urbanization, woodlands, China
As the national center for politics and culture, Beijing’s urbanization level is very high. Many policies within the proposed Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region coordinated development plan affect the expansion of urban land. Therefore, it is very important to predict urban land use changes in Beijing for planning and management purposes. In this paper, we integrated of MAS (multi-agent system) and CA (cellular automata) to simulate new satellite towns construction and ecological sensitivity impact on land use change. Physical and social driving factors were used in the combined model. The MAS involved the actions of three types of agent: regional authorities, property developers, and residents. The study used the CA model to simulate the neighborhood effects of urban land use, and the MAS model to simulate agents’ decisions. The new satellite towns and an ecological sensitivity analysis were embedded in the model to simulate the impact of decision making by the Beijing government on urban land expansion. Based on the land use data of 2005, the urban land area in 2010, 2015, 2020, and 2025 was predicted using the CA-MAS model. Urban expansion occurred faster during 2015–2025 than during the previous 10 years. Three land use types, i.e., cropland, woodland, and rural residential land, were the major sources of urban expansion. With respect to government decision making, the satellite towns were the priority areas of urban development, and urban development was restricted in ecologically sensitive areas. The New Districts of Urban Development were projected to become the main areas of future urban expansion in Beijing. The area designated for urban expansion around the ecologically sensitive areas was small. The results demonstrate that satellite towns and ecological sensitivity have large impacts on urban expansion. The results of this study will help to protect ecologically sensitive land, while enabling harmonious expansion of the city.