Effects of new-type urbanization on resource pressure : Evidence from a water-energy-food system perspective in China

Qing Xia, Guiliang Tian*, Dandan Zhao, Qiuya Zhao, Olli Varis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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To address the resource and environmental challenges posed by rapid urbanization, China has devised and executed the strategy of new-type urbanization (NU). This study aims to discuss the effects of NU on resource pressure in view of the water-energy-food (WEF) system. Taking 30 provinces in China from 2006 to 2020 as samples, this paper firstly establishes a comprehensive evaluation indicator system of NU from the population, economic, spatial, social and eco-environmental dimensions, and assesses the level of NU using the entropy weight method. Secondly, this paper uses the gray water footprint as a measurement indicator, innovatively integrating water quality into the WEF system for assessing WEF system pressure (WEFSP). Finally, the impact of NU on WEFSP is explored based on the panel fixed effects model. The findings revealed: (1) There is an inverted “U-shaped” relationship between NU and WEFSP, and China's current level of NU has exceeded the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) threshold. (2) The impact of NU on WEFSP exhibits significant regional heterogeneity, with a significant impact in the eastern region. (3) NU consistently exacerbates regional water stress when water quality is considered, indicating that sustainable urban water management practices are essential. (4) The subdimensions of NU indicate that population and social urbanization are important factors that exacerbate the WEFSP, while economic and spatial urbanization reduce the WEFSP. The research results help to clarify the impact of NU on the WEFSP and provide a reference for the timely adjustment and optimization of NU policies to achieve effective resource management and regional sustainable development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105411
Number of pages15
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • EKC
  • Fixed effects model
  • Heterogeneity
  • New-type urbanization
  • Water-energy-food system pressure


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