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Combining AHP with GIS in synthetic evaluation of environmental suitability for living in China's 35 major cities

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There are nearly 700 cities in China, each with their own particular characteristics of natural environment quality and rates of economic development. When people are able to choose a city to live in, they will take into account these characteristics in order to improve their lifestyles. Based on geographic information system technology and the analytic hierarchy process method, a model of the living environment suitability index (LESI) for the larger cities of China was designed. The LESI was constructed by using the factors of economic condition, convenience and livable degree, natural environment and natural resources. The LESI model was then applied to compare the living conditions in 35 major cities in China in 2007, including 30 provincial capitals and 5 sub-provincial cities. LESI values were higher for cities in southeast China than for cities in the northwest. The highest LESI values were mainly distributed along the Chinese southeast coast and the Yangtze River Delta. Cities with the lowest LESI values were found in the centre and north of China. Of the 35 cities, 4 had highly suitable living environments and 7 had unsuitable living environments.
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Keywords: AHP; China; GIS; living environment suitability; provincial capital; weight

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System,Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China 2: Department of Geography and Resource Management,The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin,NT, Hong Kong 3: State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering,Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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