American Journal of Environmental Sciences

An Entire-Array-Polygon (EAP) Method to Assess Urban Development Suitability

Long Cheng and Yan Liu

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2016.260.270

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 12, Issue 4

Pages 260-270


China has been experiencing rapid urbanization since the economic reforms and open-up in the late 1970s, with the expansion and restructuring of existing cities taking place at an unprecedented pace, as well as the emergence of many new cities. However, it remains a challenge for urban planners and decision-makers to identify and assess the suitability of areas for future urban development. Building on previous studies, this paper presents a novel approach using an Entire-Array-Polygon (EAP) method to assess the urban development suitability in the fast developing city-region in China. A suitability indicator system was developed to reflect the environmental and economic conditions as well as the living conditions of residents. A major advantage of the EAP model is that it does not rely on the assignment of weight ages for different indicators. Instead, all factors are mapped against one standardised platform. An application of the EAP model in Ezhou, a medium-scale city adjacent to the provincial capital city of Wuhan in Hubei Province, China, over a 15-year period (1998-2012) shows a differentiated suitability evolution for urban development in its three districts, Echeng, Huarong and Liangzihu. While Echeng remains most suitable for urban development, its development suitability decreased sharply from 1998 to 2009, indicating limited space for further growth. In contrast, the suitability in Huarong increased significantly attributed to rapid development of Gedian Economic and Technological Development Zone, while Liangzihu district experienced marginal increase in urban development suitability due to limited land space as well as the conservation of the Liangzi Lake. Our application demonstrates that the EAP method is effective in assisting planners to assess urban development suitability and identify potentials for future development.


© 2016 Long Cheng and Yan Liu. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.