Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (5): 702-718.doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1622-1

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Detecting spatio-temporal changes of arable land and construction land in the Beijing-Tianjin corridor during 2000-2015

Liying GUO1,2(), Liping DI2,*(), Qing TIAN3   

  1. 1. Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
    2. Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
    3. Department of Computational and Data Sciences, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
  • Received:2018-07-20 Accepted:2018-12-19 Online:2019-05-25 Published:2019-04-19
  • Contact: Liping DI;
  • About author:

    Author: Guo Liying, PhD and Associate Professor, specialized in land use and agricultural development. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China, No.2017YFC0504701


Rapid peri-urbanization has become a new challenge for sustainable urban-rural development worldwide. To clarify how unprecedented urban sprawl at the metropolitan fringe impacts urban-rural landscape, this study took the Beijing-Tianjin corridor of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei metropolitan area, one of the largest urban clusters in China, as a typical example. By using Landsat-based landscape metrics and a practical methodology, we investigated the landscape changes and discussed the potential reasons in the context of rapid peri-urbanization of China. Specifically, multi-temporal land use maps derived from Landsat images were used to calculate landscape metrics and analyze their characteristics along the urban-rural gradients. The practical methodology was used to monitor spatio-temporal characteristics of landscape change in large metropolitan areas. The results showed that landscape patterns in the area had changed greatly from 2000 to 2015 with characteristics of construction land sprawl and arable land shrinkage. The intensity and scale of landscape changes varied along the urban-rural gradients. Sampled plots in urbanized areas and rural areas demonstrated distinguishable landscape patterns and significant differences. Urban areas had more heterogeneous and fragmented landscapes than rural areas. Peri-urban areas in general experienced higher levels of land diversification than rural areas. Rural residential land appeared to be more aggregated near Beijing and Tianjin cities. Besides, our findings also indicated that urban expansion was largely responsible for landscape patterns. The findings of this study potentially provide strategical insights into landscape planning around mega cities and sustainable coordinated urban-rural development.

Key words: spatio-temporal characteristics, arable land, construction land, peri-urbanization, Beijing-Tianjin corridor (BTC), metropolitan area, China