Journal of Geographical Sciences

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 749–761 | Cite as

Multi-dimensional expansion of urban space through the lens of land use: The case study of Nanjing City, China

  • Weifeng Qiao
  • Junbo Gao
  • Yuanzhi GuoEmail author
  • Qingqing Ji
  • Ju Wu
  • Min Cao


The study of multi-dimensional expansion of urban space (MEUS) addresses the laws of urban spatial expansion from all directions and angles. Using Nanjing as an example, this paper constructs multi-temporal, urban three-dimensional models based on RS and GIS technology and then conducts qualitative and quantitative analysis of MEUS using plot ratio change maps and MEUS quantitative index for built-up areas. Based especially on the concept of volume growth contribution rate, this paper analyzes the characteristics of MEUS in different stages. The results show that in 2000–2004, planar expansion played the main role, the internal potential development (IPD) intensity of the urban built-up areas was relatively large, and the volume growth contribution rate was low; in 2004–2008, planar expansion accelerated, and IPD slowed down; in 2008–2012, planar expansion slowed while IPD intensity increased; the contribution rates of volume growth of urban IPD for the three periods were 22.21%, 24.51% and 73.38%, respectively. This study expands the research perspective of urban spatial expansion, and the adopted methods are instructive and meaningful for MEUS research. In addition, the results of this study will deepen the understanding of MEUS laws and help improve scientific decision-making for urban planning and urban land use management.


urban land use plot ratio change map multi-dimensional expansion volume growth contribution rate Nanjing 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anas A, 1976. Short-run dynamics in the spatial housing market. In: Papageorgiou G J (eds.). Mathematical Land Use Theory. Lexington: Lexington Books, 262–275.Google Scholar
  2. Chen J L, Gao J L, Yuan F, 2016a. Growth type and functional trajectories: An empirical study of urban expansion in Nanjing, China. PLoS ONE, 11(2): e0148389. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen J L, Gao J L, Yuan F et al., 2016b. Spatial determinants of urban land expansion in globalizing Nanjing, China. Sustainability, 8(9): 868. doi: 10.3390/su8090868.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cheng F, Thiel K H, 1995. Delimiting the building heights in a city from the shadow in a panchromatic SPOT-image: Part 1. Test of forty-two buildings. Remote Sensing, 16(3): 409–415. doi: 10.1080/01431 169508954409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chi W F, Shi W J, Kuang W H, 2015. Spatio-temporal characteristics of intra-urban land cover in the cities of China and USA from 1978 to 2010. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 25(1): 3–18. doi: 10.1007/s11442-015-1149-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gao X, Zhao D L, Zhang W, 2008. On the methods of obtaining the building height information from high-resolution remote sensing images. Bulletin of Surveying and Mapping, (3): 41–43. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  7. Gruen A, 1998. TOBAGO: A semi-automated approach for the generation of 3D building models. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing, 53(2): 108–118. doi: 10.1016/S0924-2716(97)00034-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Han X P, Xu J G, Fu X M, 2005. A study on estimating urban FAR based on high-resolution satellite images. Remote Sensing Information, (2): 24–28. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  9. Kumar M, Tripathi D K, 2014. Spatial monitoring of urban growth of Nagpur City (India) using geospatial techniques. Journal of Settlements & Spatial Planning, 5(2): 91–98.Google Scholar
  10. Li F X, 2007. Research on urban expansion information tupu of Nanjing [D]. Nanjing: Nanjing University. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  11. Li J Y, Zhang L, Wu B F et al., 2007. Study on extracting building density and floor area ratio based on high resolution image. Remote Sensing Technology and Application, 22(3): 309–313. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  12. Liu F, Zhang Z X, Shi L F et al., 2016. Urban expansion in China and its spatial-temporal differences over the past four decades. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 26(10): 1477–1496. doi: 10.1007/s11442-016-1339-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Liu L F, Wang R J, Dong W P et al., 2009. A fast method extracting building height using high resolution satellite image. Remote Sensing Technology and Application, 24(5): 631–634. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  14. Liu M H, Chen Y G, 2001. Experimental methods of geographical researches: From modeling material objects to computer simulation. Journal of Xinyang Teachers College (Natural Science Edition), 24(1): 209–213. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  15. Liu Y S, Fang F, Li Y H, 2014. Key issues of land use in China and implications for policy making. Land Use Policy, 40(4): 6–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Liu Y S, Li Y H, 2017. Revitalize the world’s countryside. Nature, 548(7667): 275–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Maimaiti B, Ding J L, Simayi Z, 2017. Characterizing urban expansion of Korla City and its spatial-temporal patterns using remote sensing and GIS methods. Journal of Arid Land, 9(3): 458–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McIntosh K, Krupnik A, 2002. Integration of laser-derived DSMs and matched image edges for generating an accurate surface model. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 56(3): 167–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Qiao W F, 2013. Study on urban spatial multidimensional expansion of Nanjing based on land use perspective [D]. Nanjing: Nanjing Normal University. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  20. Qiao W F, Liu Y S, Xiang L Z et al., 2015a. Research on extracting building height rapidly based on high-resolution remote sensing images without parameters. Journal of Geo-information Science, 17(8): 995–1000. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  21. Qiao W F, Wang Y H, Xiang L Z, 2015b. Hierarchical extraction of land use information based on knowledge and rule. Resources and Environment in the Yangtze Basin, 24(7): 1079–1085. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  22. Quan B, Bai Y J, Römkens M J M et al., 2015. Urban land expansion in Quanzhou city, China, 1995–2010. Habitat International, 48: 131–139. doi: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2015.03.021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Seresht M S, Azizi A, 2000. Automatic building recognition from digital aerial images. International Archives of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 33(B3/2; PART 3): 792–798.Google Scholar
  24. Shi L Y, Shao G F, Cui S H et al., 2009. Urban three-dimensional expansion and its driving forces: A case study of Shanghai, China. Chinese Geographical Science, 19(4): 291–298. doi: 10.1007/s11769-009-0291-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Song X D, Liu P, Zhou Y X, 2006. Urban and rural area division: Taking Shanghai as an example. Acta Geographica Sinica, 61(8): 787–797. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  26. Sun M, Ma A N, Chen J, 2002. Review on three-dimensional city model research. Journal of Remote Sensing, 6(2): 155–160. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  27. Tan Q L, 2010. Urban building extraction from VHR multi-spectral images using object-based classification. Acta Cartographica Sinica, 39(6): 618–623. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  28. Triantakonstantis D, Stathakis D, 2015. Examining urban sprawl in Europe using spatial metrics. Geocarto International, 30(10): 1092–1112. doi: 10.1080/10106049.2015.1027289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. United Nations (UN), 2008. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2007 Revision. New York: United Nations, 3–4.Google Scholar
  30. Wang L, Li C C, Ying Q et al., 2012. China’s urban expansion from 1990 to 2010 determined with satellite remote sensing. Chinese Science Bulletin, 57(22): 2802–2812. doi: 10.1007/s11434-012-5235-7. (in Chinese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wang J, Liu J, 2011. Dynamic of urban expansion in Lianyungang city based on the multi-time-phase remote sensing images: A case study of Xinpu District. Urban Geotechnical Investigation & Surveying, 1: 81–83. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  32. Wang Q, Zhang Z X, Yi L et al., 2007. Research on urban expansion in Nanjing, China using RS and GIS. Resources and Environment in the Yangtze Basin, 16(5): 554–559. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  33. Wang X S, Liu J Y, Zhuang D F et al., 2005. Spatial-temporal changes of urban spatial morphology in China. Acta Geographica Sinica, 60(3): 392–400. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  34. Weidner U, Förstner W, 1995. Towards automatic building extraction from high-resolution digital elevation models. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 50(4): 38–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wen Q K, Zhang Z X, Shi L F et al., 2016. Extraction of basic trends of urban expansion in China over past 40 years from satellite images. Chinese Geographical Science, 26(2): 129–142. doi: 10.1007/s11769-016-0796-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Xu X L, Min X B, 2013. Quantifying spatiotemporal patterns of urban expansion in China using remote sensing data. Cities, 35: 104–113. doi: 10.1016/j.cities.2013.05.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yang Y Y, Liu Y S, Li Y R et al., 2018. Quantifying spatio-temporal patterns of urban expansion in Beijing during 1985–2013 with rural-urban development transformation. Land Use Policy, 74(5): 220–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Yin F, Feng M, Zhong F et al., 2010. Research of urban expansion in Siping city based on remote sensing and GIS. Journal of Geo-Information Science, 12(2): 242–247. (in Chinese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zha Y, 2011. A study on remote sensing methods in estimating urban build-up volume ratio based on aerial photographs. Progress in Geography, 20(4): 378–383. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  40. Zhao S Q, Zhou D C, Zhu C et al., 2015. Spatial and temporal dimensions of urban expansion in China. Environmental Science & Technology, 49(16): 9600–9609. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b00065.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Zhao X F, Huang X J, Chen Y et al., 2010. Research progress in urban land intensive use. Journal of Natural Resources, 25(1): 1979–1996. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  42. Zhang Z X, Li N, Wang X A et al., 2016. Comparative study of urban expansion in Beijing, Tianjin and Tangshan from the 1970s to 2013. Remote Sensing, 8(6): 496. doi: 10.3390/rs8060496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press Springer-Verlag 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weifeng Qiao
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Junbo Gao
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yuanzhi Guo
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  • Qingqing Ji
    • 1
  • Ju Wu
    • 1
  • Min Cao
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.School of GeographyNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CASBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of Geographic SciencesXinyang Normal UniversityXinyangChina
  4. 4.Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and ApplicationNanjingChina
  5. 5.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations