Driving force of urban growth and regional planning: A case study of China's Guangdong Province

Chen Lu, Yuzhe Wu, Qiping Shen, Hao Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Since China's economic reforms began in 1978, rural-urban migration has accelerated urban growth and the consequential need for regional planning. In order to make effective strategic decisions on regional planning, it is essential to identify the determinants that promote or restrain urban growth. Based on the theoretical underpinnings of classical economics, spatial economics and sustainable development, this paper establishes a theoretical model of urban population growth and uses a case study of China's Guangdong Province to test a hypothesis. The driving force of urban population growth is derived from natural and mechanical increases that include original urban size, living environment, industrial agglomeration, and location. Regression results from the case study reveal that during the period 2000-2010, factor of dominant industry significantly and consistently impacted urban growth, whereas the influence of living conditions and location on urban growth varied from year to year. These findings imply that local government pays less attention to residents' livelihood and more to the effect of location on urban growth. The paper concludes by proposing some regional planning policies for sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalHabitat International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Economic agglomeration
  • Population growth
  • Regional planning
  • Urban growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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