Evaluating Urban Land Carrying Capacity Based on the Ecological Sensitivity Analysis : A Case Study in Hangzhou, China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

9 Scopus Citations
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  • Yanfei Gao
  • Yuanzhi Zhang
  • Genyun Sun
  • Jinchang Ren
  • Yu Li


Original languageEnglish
Article number529
Journal / PublicationRemote Sensing
Issue number6
Online published25 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


In this study, we present the evaluation of urban land carrying capacity (ULCC) based on an ecological sensitivity analysis. Remote sensing data and geographic information system (GIS) technology are employed to analyze topographic conditions, land-use types, the intensity of urban development, and ecological environmental sensitivity to create reasonable evaluation indicators to analyze urban land carrying capacity based on ecological sensitivity in the rapidly developing megacity of Hangzhou, China. In the study, ecological sensitivity is grouped into four levels: non-sensitive, lightly sensitive, moderately sensitive, and highly sensitive. The results show that the ecological sensitivity increases progressively from the center to the periphery. The results also show that ULCC is determined by ecologically sensitive levels and that the ULCC is categorized into four levels. Even though it is limited by the four levels, the ULCC still has a large margin if compared with the current population numbers. The study suggests that the urban ecological environment will continue to sustain the current population size in the short-term future. However, it is necessary to focus on the protection of distinctive natural landscapes so that decision makers can adjust measures for ecological conditions to carry out the sustainable development of populations, natural resources, and the environment in megacities like Hangzhou, China.

Research Area(s)

  • Ecological sensitivity, Geographic information system (GIS), Remote sensing data, Urban areas, Urban land carrying capacity (ULCC)