ECNU releases global projections of future urban land expansion


Recently, Nature Communications published the important research progress made by Prof. Li Xia’s team from the School of Geographical Sciences, East China Normal University (ECNU) in the field of global climate change.

Based on an analysis of the probability distribution of urban land expansion in three international metropolitan areas in 2100, i.e. London, New York and the Yangtze River Delta, this research concludes that the urban land expansion of major global economies will all take place in large urban agglomerations, featuring a high degree of marginal expansion.

This research was developed in accordance with the latest global climate scenario framework---shared socio-economic paths (SSPs) formulated by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Based on future scenarios, it projected the spatial evolution pattern of global urban land use from 2015 to 2100, discussed its impacts on the global ecological environment and displayed the projected paths of future urban development under five scenarios in the future.

“This work constitutes an important part of the global climate change research on changes in the land system. As the urban land is closely related to human activities, projecting its changing tendency under various future scenarios will help us to understand the human urbanization process and the responses to global environmental changes. The projection is also of great significance to the realization of sustainable development goals proposed by the United Nations”, said Prof. Li Xia, first corresponding author of the article.

The research is part of the studies on global land-use change carried out by Prof. Li Xia’s team. The first author is Chen Guangzhao, a PhD student studying at Sun Yat-sen University under the guidance of Prof. Li Xia.

The research was jointly accomplished by many institutes including ECNU, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangdong South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Beijing Normal University, University of Toronto, Nanjing University and Yale University. Among them, the School of Geographical Sciences of ECNU is the first communication institute. This research was officially published in Nature Communications on January 27, 2020, representing the contributions made by Chinese scholars participating in global change research.

Source: International Communication Office

Copy editor: Philip Nash

Editor: Yu Wenxi


East China Normal University