Sustainability Risks of Resource-Exhausted Cities in China: A Principal Component Analysis

Huijuan Xiao, Long Zhang, Jingzheng Ren

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


Resource-exhausted cities indicate the cities whose natural resources are exhausting, and whose accumulated exploitation reserves have reached more than 70% of the recoverable reserves. These types of cities could encounter many sustainability risks caused by the resource curse, such as slowing economic development, difficulty in economic transformation, sluggish in fostering new growth points, rising unemployment, insufficient innovation capacity, and deterioration of environmental and ecological systems. However, the status of sustainability of resource-exhausted cities is still unclear. To fill this research gap, the study constructs an evaluation framework covering economic, social, and environmental dimensions for the sustainability of resource-exhausted cities. The principal component analysis is used to evaluate the sustainability of resource-exhausted cities in China from 2005 to 2016. Results show that (1) the sustainability of resource-exhausted cities sees an increasing trend. However, the average sustainability of these cities is 64.297 in 2016 and there is still much room for improvement; (2) Shuangyashan, Fushun, Fuxin, Shizuishan, and Wuhai see the most significant risk in sustainability, at a mere 52.242, 52.447, 47.371, 34.062, and 4.113 in 2016, respectively; and (3) Panjin, Shuangyashan, and Yichun-HLJ are the only three cities whose sustainability sees a decreasing trend from 2005 to 2016. This indicates that Fuxin, Liaoyuan, and Shuangyashan face relatively significant sustainability risks and prompt actions should be taken to reverse this deterioration. The results obtained in this study can be a reference to take stock of where resource-exhausted cities stand in terms of sustainability, identify the potential risks, and further promote sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMulti-Criteria Decision Analysis for Risk Assessment and Management
EditorsJingzheng Ren
Place of Publication225-249
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-78152-1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Risk
  • Resource-exhausted cities
  • Sustainability
  • Principal component analysis
  • Resource curse

Cite this