Quantitative evaluation and spatial differentiation of ecoenvironmental livability in Zhejiang Province, China

Abstract

The scientific analyses of the spatial patterns of regional eco-environment livability, along with the explorations of the correlations between ecoenvironments and population and economic activity distributions, are of major significance in the guidance of the coordinated development between social economies, natural resources, and environments. In this study, the topography, climate, hydrology, land cover, air quality, and the dangers presented by natural hazards in the study area were investigated in order to establish an evaluation model for the regional eco-environmental livability. Then, the observed spatial patterns and regional differences in the eco-environmental livability, as well as their relationships with the distributions of population and economic activities in Zhejiang Province, were investigated. The results showed that the ecoenvironmental livability in Zhejiang Province displayed a gradual decreasing trend from southwest to northeast, as well as from the mountains to the hills, valleys, and plains areas. During the compartmentalization of the eco-environmental livability, it was observed that the lowest livable area covered the largest population, accounting for approximately 29.64% of the total population in the study area. The higher livable areas covered the widest land areas, accounting for approximately 26.15% of the total area. Moreover, it was found that the eco-environmental livability in the mountain areas was higher than that in the plain areas in Zhejiang Province. Furthermore, the ecoenvironmental livability was found to have a significant exponential relationship with the population and GDP densities of Zhejiang Province, with the R2 of the curve-fittings reaching 0.835 and 0.656, respectively. However, it was determined that the coefficient of the exponential function was negative, which indicated that a strong negative relationship existed between the eco-environmental livability and densities of the population and economic activities. It was assumed that the impacts of anthropogenic factors were the fundamental causes of this negative correlation. This study introduced two new factors (air quality and natural hazards) into the evaluation framework of eco-environmental livability. As a result, a more comprehensive model was established for the evaluation of eco-environmental livability in certain segments of the study area. Additionally, the correlation between eco-environment livability and human activities was discussed in-depth, which can potentially provide theoretical and practical guidance for the implementation of eco-livability in China, and possibly even those of other vast developing countries.

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Acknowledgements

We are thankful to the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41901205 & 41701127), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (No.BK20190482), the Philosophy and Social Science Research Project of Jiangsu University (No.2019SJA0034 & 2016SJD790012), the Scientific Research Start-up Project of Nanjing University of Science and Technology (No.AE89991/117).

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Correspondence to Ying-ming Zhu.

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Wang, Y., Zhu, Y., Yu, M. et al. Quantitative evaluation and spatial differentiation of ecoenvironmental livability in Zhejiang Province, China. J. Mt. Sci. 17, 1491–1508 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-019-5477-9

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Keywords

  • Eco-environment
  • Livability
  • Quantitative evaluations
  • Spatial differentiation
  • Zhejiang Province