China has implemented main functional areas planning (MFAP) since 2010, which is essential for improving the efficiency of land space utilization and achieving sustainable urban development. Quantitative assessments of the urban development levels (UDLs) at the county level across China after the implementation of MFAP have not been well-documented. In this study, a unified indicator system was developed, and the UDLs of 2850 counties in China after MFAP implementation were evaluated. The results showed that MFAP played a positive role in urban development in China. The UDLs in China generally increased but showed obvious spatial differences. The higher UDLs were mostly found in the counties in the five urban belts, which reflects the overall urban layout of China. The UDLs were generally low in the western counties in comparison with those in the eastern part of China. The differences in the UDLs from east to west were greater than those from north to south. Moreover, the differences in the UDLs presented a spatial agglomeration effect. This study could offer insight into the refinement of MFAP in China and sustainable urban development in developing countries.

Assessment, China, Main functional areas planning, Sustainable development, Urbanization,
Journal of Environmental Management

Xia, H. (Han), Zhang, W. (Wanshun), He, L. (Lian), Ma, M. (Mengyue), Peng, H. (Hong), Li, L. (Lin), … Wang, X. (Xintang). (2020). Assessment on China's urbanization after the implementation of main functional areas planning. Journal of Environmental Management, 264. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.110381