Climate Change Research ›› 2018, Vol. 14 ›› Issue (4): 392-401.doi: 10.12006/j.issn.1673-1719.2018.018

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Provincial urbanization projected to 2050 under the shared socioeconomic pathways in China

Xiao-Jiang DING1,Fang-Lei ZHONG1,2(),Jin-Huang MAO1,Xiao-Yu SONG2,3,Chun-Lin HUANG4,5   

  1. 1 School of Economics, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
    2 Key Laboratory of Eco-hydrology of Inland River Basin, Northwest Institute of Ecology and Environmental Resources of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
    3 Chinese Academy of Sciences Resource and Environment Science Information Center, Lanzhou 730000, China
    4 Heihe Remote Sensing Experimental Research Station, Northwest Institute of Ecology and Environmental Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
    5 Gansu Provincial Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing, Northwest Institute of Ecology and Environmental Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2018-02-08 Revised:2018-04-26 Online:2018-07-30 Published:2018-07-30
  • Contact: Fang-Lei ZHONG


Urbanization is a key aspect of development that is relevant to studies of mitigation, adaptation to climate change, and its impacts. Based on the data of urban and rural population in 31 provinces of China published by the National Bureau of Statistics from 2005 to 2015 and the data of GDP per capita in each province in 2015, combined with the shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) proposed by the IPCC and Logistic model, the levels of urbanization in 31 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) in China were projected from 2016 to 2050. This paper will be beneficial to the research of numerous uncertainties in the process of urbanization under different economic development pathways and be helpful for the decision making in different provinces. The results show that by 2050, the urbanization levels of all provinces (excluding Tianjin, Beijing, Shanghai and Tibet) under the five typical SSPs will converge to about 75%. Among them, under SSP1, SSP3, SSP4, and SSP5, the urbanization levels of all provinces will converge. Under SSP2, the overall urbanization level of the country from the east to the west will gradually decrease, and the spatial distribution of urbanization will have obvious step-down. In addition, under the SSPs, it basically shows that the urbanization of the west and the middle will be fast while the eastern slow and the spatial distribution pattern of the southwest is fast but the northeast is slow under SSPs. Differences across SSPs by 2050 may be small in the high-income region where the urbanization level is already high and the uncertainty in future urbanization trend is rather small. In contrast, many middle-income and low-income provinces are in the midst of the urbanization transition, with a big difference across the 5 pathways.

Key words: Shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs), Logistic model, Urbanization projections, Provincial level, China

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