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Growing Speed of China’s Urban Land Area Drops
The China Land Surveying and Planning Institute of the Ministry of Land and Resources recently announced that by December 31, 2014, the total area of China’s urban land reached 8.9 million ha (133.5 million mu), among which the area for cities occupies 46.8% and that of established towns makes up 53.2%. During 2009 – 2014, the acreage of China’s urban land increased by 1.65 million ha, translating to an increase of 22.8% and an annual growth of 4.2%. Generally, the growing speed gradually slowed down, and the annual growth dropped from 4.7% in 2010 to 3.7% in 2014. The urban land supply in the country increased steadily, showing a stable urbanization status.

The land supply in China in recent years has shown certain new trends and characteristics. The growing rate of urban housing land use gradually reduced. In terms of different regions, the acreage of urban land in the eastern region occupied 40.7% in the total urban land area of the country, that of the central region occupied 22.5%, the western region 26.4%, and the northeast region 10.4%. It can be seen that the urbanization in different regions of China is rather imbalanced, and great potential can be found in the western region.

Meanwhile, in terms of the structure of urban land use functions, priorities are constantly given to industrial and mining land use as well as to commercial use. From 2009 to 2014, among various urban land uses, the increase in land use for industry-mining and warehouses, and commercial services were the highest, reaching 36.1% and 38.3% respectively, which remarkably exceeded the total increased rate of urban construction land use in the country. In addition, the increase of the total amount of urban housing land use also slowed down in recent years. From 2009 to 2014, the accumulated growing rate of the area land use of urban housing was 23%, close to the total growing rate of urban land use in China. But the growth rate dropped from 5.3% in 2010 to 3.6% in 2014. The annual growing rate of housing land use in cities of different scales shows a feature that can be summarized as “small cities higher than medium cities, medium cities higher than large cities, and large cities higher than mega-cities.”

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