Measurement of urban fringe sprawl in Nanjing between 1984 and 2010 using multidimensional indicators

L. Feng, P. J. Du, H. Li, L. J. Zhu

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the global increases in urbanisation rates, urban sprawl has become a worldwide issue. In China, the development of rural areas has been affected by urban expansion and adjustments of metropolitan areas by administrative divisions that have led to losses in agricultural lands and ecosystem services. There is the 'paradoxical' desire for governments to promote rural development and protect land resources. Urban fringe sprawl is a prominent issue in the process of rural development. Identifying and measuring sprawl at the urban fringe could assist policymakers to either encourage or discourage this phenomenon. This paper demonstrates use of multidimensional indicators to effectively measure urban fringe sprawl by remote sensing, in addition to demographic and socio-economic data. Using integrated indicators observed in the recent Chinese development context, urban fringe sprawl was measured comprehensively for Jiangning, a district in the city of Nanjing, China. This study indicates that Jiangning is sprawling rapidly. The results also show that the multidimensional indicator approach could provide decision support to create effective long-term land-use planning policies for controlling urban sprawl patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-198
Number of pages15
JournalGeographical Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Landsat TM time-series images
  • Multidimensional indicators
  • Nanjing city
  • Urban fringe sprawl

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