TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (4): 601-609.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.002968

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Spatial-temporal Pattern and Influencing Factors of Environmental Quality in Guangdong, China

YANG Jiangmin,YANG Ren,XUE Desheng   

  1. (Center for Urban and Regional Studies,Sun Yat-Sen University,Guangzhou 510275,China)
  • Online:2017-07-05 Published:2017-07-05


In this day and age, forging an ‘eco-city’ has become one of the leading ideas to deal with the current environmental challenges against the context of global climate change and rapid urbanization. This paper examines the long-term environmental conditions in Guangdong Province, China, analyzing the changing characters and influencing factors of environmental quality of 21 municipalities with the use of some sophisticated data analysis software like geographic information system (GIS) and SPSS. In so doing, we established a new evaluation system of the level of environmental quality with 9 major indexes as well as the availability of data in terms of pollution emission, environmental background and environmental governance, in 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2014. The main findings are: 1) For the whole province, the level of environmental quality has increased significantly from 1990 to 2014 with periodic fluctuation. Moreover, the environmental quality of each city in Guangdong Province is within a dynamic process, in which cities change their positions constantly. 2) As we can see from the results of Theil indexes, on account to the differences within the region, environmental quality in Guangdong Province has noteworthy regional differences. In other words, both low and high value points exist in the Pearl River Delta and other regions that are different from economic disparities. The distribution of environmental conditions also shows characteristics of decentralization, to a certain extent which corresponds to the fact of differences within the region. 3) Environmental quality of each city is closely related to the pattern of economic development, relevant government policy, public awareness of environmental protection and community participation. Extensive economic development, the ignoring of environmental problems and the low public awareness of environmental protection severely hindered the improvement of overall environmental quality in Guangdong Province, but different cities were affected with various degrees. In addition, more effective interaction among market, government and community would be beneficial to advance the construction of ecological environment, modify the patterns of urban growth in order to meet the demand of China’s sustainable development.

Key words: environmental quality, eco-city, regional difference, Entropy Method, Guangdong Province