Evaluating urban land use efficiency with interacting criteria: an empirical study of cities in Jiangsu China

Ling Zhang, Lei Zhang, Yan Xu, Peng Zhou, Chung Hsing Yeh

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The evaluation of urban land use efficiency (ULUE) plays an important role in achieving the sustainable use of land resources. Illustrated with an empirical study on the evaluation of ULUE of 13 cities in Jiangsu, China, this paper develops an efficiency evaluation approach for measuring the ULUE with respect to interacting sustainability-related criteria, using bipolar measurement. The approach incorporates the merits of the decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory method, a new causal-effect analysis process, the Bi-TOPSIS method, and convergence models. As such, this paper addresses three important issues: (a) how to identify key criteria and their interactions for evaluating the ULUE of cities; (b) how to obtain the ULUE performances of cities, with benchmarks that clearly demarcate ‘satisfactory’ from ‘unsatisfactory’ performances, and (c) how to measure the dispersion of the ULUE performances across cities over time. The results from the empirical study suggest that the ULUE of most Jiangsu cities is below the city planner's expectation. The ULUE of Central Jiangsu cities is better than their neighboring cities, and the cities with low ULUE tend to catch up with higher ULUE cities. However, the gaps between their ULUE performances will still exist. Each city's ULUE performance can only converge to its own steady state over time. To help cities achieve a better ULUE performance, policy suggestions are recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104292
Number of pages11
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Causal analysis
  • Convergence
  • Interacting criteria
  • Urban land use efficiency

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