JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2019, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (6): 1285-1295.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20190613

• Resource Evaluation • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Assessment of regional sustainability based on the weak HSDI and strong HSDI: Case study of the Bohai Rim region in China

Yang YANG1(), Jie MEI1, Chun-yang HE2,3(), Cong HUANG1   

  1. 1. School of International Affairs and Public Administration, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, Shandong, China
    2. Center for Human-Environment System Sustainability, State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    3. School of Natural Resources, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2018-09-30 Revised:2019-03-15 Online:2019-06-20 Published:2019-06-20


Assessment of sustainability is an important part of sustainable scientific research. Based on HDI and HSDI, this paper constructed the weak Human Sustainable Development Index (HSDI) and strong HSDI assessment indexes with different emphases on environmental factors. Taking the Bohai Rim region in China as an example, we studied the basic state and change process of the regional sustainability from 2000 to 2015. The results are shown as follows. From the point of basic state, the hierarchy of the sustainability in the Bohai Rim was imbalanced. The level of weak HSDI and strong HSDI were both in a spindle-shaped structure with small proportions at both ends and a large proportion in the middle. The numbers of cities with weak HSDI and strong HSDI at middle level account for 59.09% and 43.18%, respectively. However, the hierarchy of weak HSDI was more imbalanced than that of strong HSDI, and the regional differences of weak and strong HSDI were obvious. In terms of the change process, the paces of the sustainable development in different cities were inconsistent. Although both the weak and strong HSDI presented a significant growth trend, the weak HSDI mainly showed medium-high speed growth, while the strong HSDI mainly showed medium-low speed growth. The coincidence rate of weak HSDI and strong HSDI growth areas is as high as 71.79%, but there is obvious spatial dislocation in the growth rate. Based on the assessment results, cities can be classified into sustainable development state and process matrix. The cities in the four state matrices (I, II, III and IV) of sustainability were suitable for "incentive", "propelled", "control-oriented" and "supportive" sustainable development strategies successively. And the cities in the four process matrices (1, 2, 3, and 4) were suitable for sustainable development strategies of "stabilizing growth and optimizing environment", "conquering emphasis and promoting coordination", "adjusting structure and preventing risks" and "promoting reform, seeking development" successively. This study can provide decision-making reference for promoting regional sustainable development by proposing targeted diversification strategies.

Key words: sustainability, weak HSDI, strong HSDI, basic state, change process, strategy matrix