Measuring sustainable urbanization in China: A case study of the coastal Liaoning area

Shiwei Liu, Pingyu Zhang*, Xiaoli Jiang, Kevin Lo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The global urbanization process poses a serious challenge to achieving sustainable development. The significance of sustainable urbanization has been increasingly appreciated, yet, very little empirical evidence has been provided for this prospect. In this paper, we use the Human Development Index and the ecological footprint to measure the sustainability of the coastal Liaoning area. We then use the quadrant map approach to determine the relationship between sustainability and urbanization. The results show that the coastal area has made progress in sustainable urbanization in the social dimension. Improvement in the environmental dimension has been dynamic. Our results indicate that sustainable urbanization is a dynamic, multi-dimensional progress that requires regular monitoring and reevaluation. This paper also highlights the importance of choosing more complete indicators for measuring the sustainability of urbanization, as no single model or measurement is sufficient for quantifying the different dimensions of sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-594
Number of pages10
JournalSustainability Science
Issue number4
Early online date22 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

User-Defined Keywords

  • Sustainable urbanization
  • Urbanization velocity
  • Sustainability velocity
  • Ecological footprint
  • Human Development Index
  • Northeast China


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