The Allometric Growth of Urban Land Use and Population and Its Experiential Research

  • Department of Geography, Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster, Beijing Normal University, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100875

Received date: 2001-11-06

  Revised date: 2002-03-15

  Online published: 2002-11-20


Urban land use dynamics has been an important issue for LUCC. But as many factors are involved, and for the lack of corresponding time-serial data, dynamic study of urban land use is a hard nut to crack. This article aims at obtaining a function that can describe the dynamic process of the change of urban land magnitude. We start at the rank-size rule by urban population and the rank-size rule by urban built-up area, and derive a mathematical relationship that the land use size of a city and its population observe the law of allometric growth, which is derived from biological studies. In other words, when we consider a city as an organism, at least it has two organs, the size of the built-up area and the population of such an area, where the growth rate of the former is in proportion to the growth rate of the latter.Because of the lack of time-serial data of urban built-up area-population, we substitute urban non-agricultural residents for built-up area population and do regression analysis for the allometric growth relationship. Forty cities in China are presented for the case study, and the results verify the theoretical relationship. Then we deduce a function consisted of the size of built-up area, the total population and the GDP (gross domestic product) per capita of the city. It is as follows: lgs=c(lgp+lglgy)+k where s represents urban built-up area, p is the total population of a city, y is the GDP per capita of the city, and c and k are parameters. We have presented many large cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin etc. as experiential studies, and gained such a function by regression analysis of a time-serial data of those cities. Results show that the function is correctly derived.Our results can be used to predict the size change of built-up area of a city in China that is being in the rapid urbanization.

Cite this article

LIANG Jin-She, WANG Min . The Allometric Growth of Urban Land Use and Population and Its Experiential Research[J]. SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA, 2002 , 22(6) : 649 -654 . DOI: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2002.06.649


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