The national new urbanization plan (2014-2020) points out a prominent problem in the process of rapid urbanization in China, that is, " land urbanization is faster than population urbanization, which makes extensive use of land resources and wastes a lot of cultivated land resources”. The large-scale construction of China’s high speed railway (HSR) has simultaneously promoted urban population flow and land use development, which to a certain extent affects the pace of China’s urban population urbanization and land urbanization. However, currently there is a lack of coordination in the population-land urbanization of Chinese cities. The speed of land urbanization in China obviously exceeds the spatial demand of population urbanization, leading to urban sprawl. In this paper, the causal effect of China’s HSR construction and urban sprawl is empirically tested by using the Difference-in-Differences method (DID) with the panel data of China’s prefecture-level cities from 2007 to 2015. The research results show that: (1) the opening of China’s HSR has strongly aggravated urban sprawl, and the construction of HSR has become an important factor inducing urban sprawl in China; (2) through the impact analysis of the opening of HSR in different years on urban sprawl, it is found that with the continuous advancement of China’s HSR, urban sprawl caused by HSR opening is characterized by stages; (3) on the basis of the above research, this paper has classified cities according to different standards and finds that HSR has different impacts on different types of cities. While most scholars pay attention to the benefits of HSR, this paper uses the empirical model to confirm the possible negative effects of HSR construction on urban development. That is, the opening of HSR exacerbates urban sprawl to a certain extent. Therefore, while enjoying the benefits led by HSR opening, local cities should actively deal with the potential negative effects caused by HSR opening. When planning locations of HSR stations, the railway corporation and the local government should be in line with the city’s own development stage, so as to make urban layout more scientific and reasonable.
Has China’s High Speed Railway Construction Aggravated “Urban Sprawl”? An Empirical Evidence from Prefecture-Level Cities
Journal of Finance and Economics Vol. 44, Issue 10, pp. 125 - 137 (2018) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.jfe.2018.10.009
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Cite this article
Deng Taotao, Wang Dandan. Has China’s High Speed Railway Construction Aggravated “Urban Sprawl”? An Empirical Evidence from Prefecture-Level Cities[J]. Journal of Finance and Economics, 2018, 44(10): 125-137.