Rapid assessment of sustainability in Mainland China

Liying Sun, Jinren Ni*, Alistair G. L. Borthwick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper presents an approach for rapid assessment of sustainability for Mainland China based on a multilayer index system. Efficient assessment is conducted with the basic mapping units at county and city levels. After evaluating a comprehensive sustainable development index, SDI, for each unit, five rankings of sustainability are determined, and a zonation map produced. Regional characteristics and differences are interpreted through macro-analysis of the spatial variation in SDI. A sensitivity analysis is performed by which the weights of the sub-indices are altered by +/- 20%, and SDI re-evaluated; the resulting grades remain the same, thus confirming the robustness of the technique. Moreover, the accuracy of the proposed approach is indirectly validated by comparison with assessment results from an alternative systems analysis method. It is found that major conurbations such as Beijing have relatively high levels of sustainability, whereas provinces in central and western China require investment to improve their sustainability. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021-1031
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume91
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Rapid assessment
  • Sustainable development index
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Mainland China
  • SOIL-EROSION ASSESSMENT
  • MASS MOVEMENT HAZARD
  • URBAN SUSTAINABILITY
  • AHP METHOD
  • INDICATORS
  • MANAGEMENT
  • ENERGY
  • CONSTRUCTION
  • STRATEGIES
  • SCOTLAND

Cite this