Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2020, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (2): 333-352.doi: 10.1007/s11442-020-1731-x

• Review Article • Previous Articles    

Dynamic simulation of urbanization and eco-environment coupling: Current knowledge and future prospects

CUI Xuegang1,2, FANG Chuanglin1,2,*(), LIU Haimeng1,2, LIU Xiaofei1,2, LI Yonghong3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Institute of Water Ecology, Beijing Orient Landscape & Environment Co., Ltd., Beijing 100015, China;
  • Received:2019-08-29 Accepted:2019-10-18 Online:2020-02-25 Published:2020-04-21
  • Contact: FANG Chuanglin
  • About author:Cui Xuegang (1990-), PhD, specialized in urban geography and regional planning. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    Major Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41590840);Major Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41590842)


Urbanization and eco-environment coupling is a research hotspot. Dynamic simulation of urbanization and eco-environment coupling needs to be improved because the processes of coupling are complex and statistical methods are limited. Systems science and cross-scale coupling allow us to define the coupled urbanization and eco-environment system as an open complex giant system with multiple feedback loops. We review the current state of dynamic simulation of urbanization and eco-environment coupling and find that: (1) The use of dynamic simulation is an increasing trend, the relevant theory is being developed, and modeling processes are being improved; (2) Dynamic simulation technology has become diversified, refined, intelligent and integrated; (3) Simulation is mainly performed for three aspects of the coupling, multiple regions and multiple elements, local coupling and telecoupling, and regional synergy. However, we also found some shortcomings: (1) Basic theories are inadequately developed and insufficiently integrated; (2) The methods of unifying systems and sharing data are behind the times; (3) Coupling relations and the dynamic characteristics of the main driving elements are not fully understood or completely identified. Additionally, simulation of telecoupling does not quantify parameters and is not systemically unified, and therefore cannot be used to represent spatial synergy. In the future, we must promote communication between research networks, technology integration and data sharing to identify the processes governing change in coupled relations and in the main driving elements in urban agglomerations. Finally, we must build decision support systems to plan and ensure regional sustainable urbanization.

Key words: urbanization and eco-environment coupling, dynamic simulation, theory, methods, applications