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Sheng, S.;  Song, W.;  Lian, H.;  Ning, L.; Sheng, S. Urban Land Management during 1979-2021. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 18 June 2024).
Sheng S,  Song W,  Lian H,  Ning L, Sheng S. Urban Land Management during 1979-2021. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 18, 2024.
Sheng, Shuangqing, Wei Song, Hua Lian, Lei Ning, Shuangqing Sheng. "Urban Land Management during 1979-2021" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 18, 2024).
Sheng, S.,  Song, W.,  Lian, H.,  Ning, L., & Sheng, S. (2022, November 09). Urban Land Management during 1979-2021. In Encyclopedia.
Sheng, Shuangqing, et al. "Urban Land Management during 1979-2021." Encyclopedia. Web. 09 November, 2022.
Urban Land Management during 1979-2021

As the carrier of global urbanization, urban land is the basic means of productivity and life of urban residents. Urban land management is of great significance to global climate change mitigation, improving ecological quality, promoting economic development, and ensuring sustainable urban development. Although studies on urban land management have accumulated at the global level, the differences in research methods, objectives, and perspectives have led to the fragmentation and confusion of research conclusions. Combined with the annual change trend of scientific research output, urban land management research can be divided into three stages: the budding period, from 1979 to 1989, the development period, from 1990 to 2008, and the high-yield period, from 2009 to 2021. 

urban land management city Management

1. Introduction

With the advance of global urbanization, urban land has spread and expanded accordingly, and urban land management has become an important issue, gradually becoming of wide concern to various experts, scholars and governments [1]. Urban land is the most important spatial carrier of urbanization [2]. At a global scale, cities account for 3% of the global land area, but carry 55% of the population [3]. In the future, global urban areas are expected to further expand, and, by 2030, more than 60% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas [4]. By 2050, this proportion is expected to reach 68% [5]. The growth of urban population will inevitably bring about the expansion of urban land, and the speed of urban expansion is significantly higher than the population growth rate, indicating that the urban land area will exceed the area needed to maintain population growth [6]. At the same time, the rapid expansion of urban land has resulted on the one hand, in large areas that are not adequately used [7][8][9], whereas, on the other hand, it has also caused prominent social and ecological problems, such as global warming, urban water pollution, an extensive food crisis, a decline in biodiversity and the need for extensive residential land use efficiency, [10][11][12][13][14][15][16]. In the future, global urbanization is expected to advance further, with massive challenges for urban land management. On the one hand, urban land management is highly dependent on the political and economic levels as well as on the degree of scientific and technological development and the methods of urban land management differ largely among different countries [17]. On the other hand, different countries differ in climate, hydrology, geology, topography, and other natural environmental conditions, resulting in differences in national policies on urban land management [18][19]. Therefore, how to manage urban land reasonably has become a realistic issue for sustainable urban development.
In urban land management, the monitoring, systematic evaluation, and standardized management of urban land are important issues of urban planning, geography, and land resource management [20][21][22], with practical significance in restraining the unreasonable expansion of urban land and realizing sustainable land use [23]. In the field of urban planning, urban land management should strengthen government supervision, formulate strong policy systems, improve institutions and market operation tools, support effective land market operation, and form a top–down governance system. At the same time, it should give full play to the enthusiasm of citizens to participate in public programs, promote openness and transparency of policies, systems, and projects, and form a bottom–up supervision system [24]. The formation of top–down and bottom–up joint efforts should be used to achieve the efficient and intensive use of urban land [25]. Quantitative analysis of data and models commonly used in the field of geography, as well as the simulation, analysis, and prediction of urban land use, can provide references for decision makers to achieve sustainable land use and the science-based management of urban land [26][27]. Studies on land resource management emphasize the rational allocation of urban land resources from the perspective of management. Through public intervention in urban land management (land ownership, land use, land marketing, and land taxation), as well as tripartite control of legal, fiscal, and governmental aspects, the efficiency and fairness of urban land use allocation could be improved [28][29]. In this context, urban land can be regarded as the carrier of economic, social, and cultural activities as well as ecological civilization, and it is difficult to solve all issues in the field of urban land management by relying on a single discipline and specific technical means. This makes it important to solve the problems in the field of urban land management of the future via the integration of multiple disciplines, the complementarity of multiple technologies, and the intersection of multiple information sources, with the aim of obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the progress of urban land management.
Reviews collect, analyze, and summarize literature to gain a deeper understanding of a certain research field, and conducting a review is an important method to comprehensively grasp past research. There are numerous reviews in the field of urban land and land management. For example, in terms of urban land, scholars such as Youjung Kim reviewed the literature on LCM (Land Change Modeling) in urban land and identified drivers, scenarios, and themes, enabling planners to model future land changes through scenarios to provide more certain conditions [30]. Wagner compared the results obtained by using cellular automata (CA), artificial intelligence (AI), and operations research (OR) to solve urban planning and urban land management issues through review and analysis [31]. Regarding land management, Biratu proposed the importance of managing resources and improving ecosystems in agricultural landscapes to enhance environmental sustainability from the perspective of land management [32], whereas Hanaček studied the impact of land management changes on culture, agro-ecosystem services, and environmental conflicts [33]. Although these studies contributed to an understanding of urban land and land management, the studies were limited to specific countries/regions and specific disciplines, lacking a global perspective and a comprehensive perspective of all disciplines, and a review of urban land management using bibliometrics was not involved. Therefore, it is of great significance to comprehensively analyze global urban land management by using bibliometric analysis methods, with the aim of developing a deeper understanding of the progress and future trends of urban land management at the global scale.
Scientific research platform databases can be used to obtain high-quality scientific results. Databases such as Web of Science, Scopus, Emerald, and CNKI are widely used all over the world, with the advantages of fast literature retrieval and effective tracking of academic frontiers [34]. Of these, Scopus is a new navigation tool, focusing on prospective scientific, technological, and medical literature worldwide [35]. Emerald was founded in 1967 by scholars from Bradford University Management Center, one of the world’s top 100 business schools, publishing journals in management, library science, engineering, and other professional fields [36], whereas CNKI focuses on industry, agriculture, medicine and health, economy, and education, mainly targeting Chinese users [37]. Web of Science is an internationally recognized large-scale comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and core journal citation index database. It enjoys a good reputation in the scientific, technological, and educational circles around the world, with citation index databases, such as SCIE and SSCI, JCR Journal Citation Reports, and ESI Basic Scientific Indicators [38]. The Web of Science core collection database contains more than 8700 global authoritative and high-impact academic journals, covering natural sciences, engineering technology, biomedicine, social sciences, arts and humanities, and other fields [39]. Its powerful analysis function can help researchers better grasp relevant topics and seek research breakthroughs and innovations because it offers quick identification of high-impact research, and facilitates the discovery of the research directions being considered by domestic and foreign peer authorities, revealing the development trend of the topic, and it selects appropriate journals for submission. An innovative research platform of “retrieval—analysis—management—writing” has been established for researchers [40]. The Web of Science database, therefore, has more advantages than Scopus, Emerald, CNKI, and other databases, due to its wide collection range and complete data sources.
Bibliometrics is a quantitative analysis method that measures the interrelationships and impacts [41] of publications in specific research fields through mathematical and statistical tools. It enables researchers to map out complex knowledge maps, represent knowledge structures in the research field, and study its properties [42][43][44] through statistical and mathematical methods. Serving as a powerful tool to analyze the field of knowledge and reveal its knowledge structure [45], it provides a macro-overview of academic research and reliably identifies influential authors, journals, organizations, and nations [46]. Among the software packages for measuring and analyzing scientific literature data, CiteSpace, VOSviewer, and Bibexcel have been widely used in the field of global information science due to their scientific and effective advantages in practical applications [47][48][49]. Regarding the application of such software in literature reviews, CiteSpace has the advantages of rich drawings and of visualizing the key development of a certain field. The VOSviewer software is mainly based on literature co-citation, and, especially when there is a large number of literature keyword co-occurrence, its analysis ability is strong. The BibExcel software specializes in analyzing data that does not include visualization in the results. However, the operation of these software packages in bibliometric analysis is complex, and the function of specific modules is prominent, which cannot assist researchers in building a complete workflow for literature analysis [50]. The Bibliometrix and Biblioshiny software packages compensate for this drawback. Of these, the Bibliometrix R software package provides a set of tools for sociometric quantitative research. Benefiting from the strongest qualities of the R language, compared to other languages in scientific computing, it has the advantages of statistical calculation and quick visualization in bibliometric analysis [51], making it more flexible than other bibliometric tools [52]. Moreover, the software integrates the network analysis and visualization functions of various bibliometric tools, enabling an entire scientific literature analysis and data flow. This not only prevents researchers from performing tedious multi-step operations but also improves work efficiency and reduces the probability of error. The software is better suited to handle high-volume, highly repetitive, and multi-step computing tasks, and the one-stop handling of problems does not require cross-platform development. Due to these advantages, the Bibliometrix and Biblioshiny software packages have been widely used in different fields [53][54][55].

2. Research Trend of Urban Land Management

Research work on urban land management and development policy provides the guidance and guarantee of urban land management. “Management”, as one of the main themes in the field of urban land, has been subject to laws and policies to protect the sustainable use of urban land. Urban land management is affected by time and space, and the research focus, direction, and contents of different countries/regions in different periods are also different. Therefore, studying the development of different countries is conducive to the formulation of relevant policies and urban land management. For example, in the temporal dimension, China changed from aggressive development in the period of the reform and opening up to delineating the boundaries of urban development in the context of today’s land and space to activate the stock, leave a margin, and grow shrewdly [56]. Israel was strongly influenced by top–down land use policies, with planning principles and policies developed at the national level and issued as laws and directives for implementation at the local level. The period from the 1950s to the 1970s was marked by an urgent need to establish and protect borders, due to agricultural land conservation and land use policies. Therefore, the creation of small agricultural communities and new towns on the geographical edge of the country limited the urban spread and the growth of urban land to some extent. In the 1980s, when restrictions on urban development were loosened, the policy still focused on protecting farmland. The 1990s and 2000s fall into the era of planning shocks and urban growth management, and the policy of urban growth management was established in Israel’s land use planning. The policies established over the past few years encourage higher-density development and slow the loss of open space, setting targets for benign urban growth management [57]. In terms of space, the urbanization work in developed countries, such as those in Europe and the United States, was carried out earlier and urbanization occurred earlier, while the current urbanization rate tends to be stable, and urban planning and urban land management work have gradually reached a policy-oriented management stage. The US public sector developed a broad range of policy tools (public land acquisitions, regulatory approaches, and incentive-based approaches) to manage urban growth and protect open space, with the aim of stemming the tide of urban sprawl in the US. The US managed urban land, protected open space, and limited urban growth through the transmission and implementation of government departments at all levels [58]. South Korea proposed national policies and strategies for low-carbon and green growth. Transportation-oriented compact development was implemented in urban structure and land use, providing standards and guidelines for integrated urban planning and land management [59]. However, urban land in developing countries was still in an incremental stage, and urban land management was in an immature stage of development [60]. As can be seen, issues related to urban land or urban land management vary from politics to governments, and, therefore, localized research examples tend to be more effective than broad policy recommendations, which can provide broad guidance, but little depth.
The study of urban land management in urbanization is an important basis for grasping the mechanism of urban land evolution and all stages of urban land management. “Urbanization” and “Urban Land Management” are two inseparable topics. Cities are the main places for social, economic, and political activities, and urban land is the carrier of urbanization. The policies, as well as the economic, social, and ecological environments of different countries, have different impacts on urban land, which can be reflected in urban land changes. For example, urban expansion is one of the main pressures affecting the Mediterranean coastal region. Faced with the problems arising with urbanization in the Mediterranean coastal areas, France has formulated coastal management policies to assist in spatial planning, to study urbanization and to determine the characteristics of the evolution of coastal built-up areas, to monitor urban land changes, and to effectively manage urban land [61]. As a factor in land management, the land–atmosphere interaction maintains air quality and improves ecosystem functions. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor, analyze, and evaluate land use change in a temporal and spatial context and to quantify the impact of land use change on the global and even regional climate models so as to formulate scientific and effective land management measures [62].
The emergence of spatial analysis tools, such as GIS and ENVI, has expanded the research in the field of urban land management. In particular, the integration of GIS and urban land management has promoted the production of research results and publications in the field of urban land management. In the first stage (1979–2013), the research on urban land management was in its infancy, with a small number of publications published on Remote Sensing. In the second stage (2014–2018), the research topics of urban land management were gradually enriched, showing a trend of comprehensive development from multiple disciplines and perspectives. The number of publications on Remote Sensing increased rapidly. With the development and maturity of GIS, the application of GIS in urban land management has become a scientific supplement to the research of urban land management under the guidance of policies. The ability of “GIS” to collect, manage, analyze, and output urban spatial information has provided strong support to urban land management. As it is necessary for urban planners and governments to consider the land use status, timely and adequate urban land use information undoubtedly promotes the sustainable development of urban areas. At this time, the application of geographic information technology and big data can accurately and effectively draw the urban land use map, facilitating the scientific, quantitative, and dynamic management of urban land. For example, Luxembourg managed urban land by using data from typical municipalities and its implementation in GIS to plan, monitor, or forecast land consumption [63].

3. Urban Land Management Practice

Urban land management ensures the orderly zoning of urban functions. Rapid urbanization not only leads to sprawl and disorderly development of urban land, but also causes chaotic conditions in areas such as public services, commerce, housing, and greening. Therefore, reasonable urban land management contributes to the balance of public service facilities among regions, the agglomeration of economic development scale, the enhancement of the livability level of residential areas, the improvement of urban greening quality, and the realization of spatial justice. For example, Japan proposed the Integrated Station-City Development (ISCD) strategy on the basis of drawing lessons from the TOD theory of Europe and America. The ISCD is a highly complex mode of urban development, community construction, use, and agglomeration, centered on railway hubs. This model makes the railway hub area become an urban comprehensive center with highly intensive land use, highly compound urban functions, orderly functional zoning, and a good landscape environment. The planning and design of the railway hub section should be incorporated into the overall urban planning to make it highly integrated with urban functions, facilities, land use, and landscape [64]. It is worth noting that realization of the intensive and efficient use of urban land by means of planning and design is not only the responsibility of the planning industry but often requires the participation of multiple parties. It is more convenient for the implementation of urban land management to change the top–down government-led urban planning policy, implement urban planning work combining top–down and bottom–up, improve the intensity of public participation, and form a multi-governance pattern of “government–market–citizen” participation. Promoting the coordination of all departments horizontally can achieve the requirements of data unification, base map unification, and goal unification. To promote the formation of urban functionally clear zoning, a healthy and orderly development of spatial patterns is necessary.
With the advancement of urbanization, various countries have encountered social and economic problems, such as lack of vitality in the inner city, decline of the central area, and substantial differences in the quality of residential areas, which aggravate the fragmentation and inefficiency of urban land use. To cope with these issues, different countries have combined the existing problems of urban land management from different aspects of exploration. For example, the United States takes the revitalization of the inner city as an economic strategy, aiming to give full play to the potential advantages of the location of the inner city, to build on the basis of existing companies, to establish viable enterprises, to provide employment opportunities, and to create a favorable environment for business to enhance the vitality of the inner city and re-empower the land in the inner city [65]. Heinrich took Weissenfels and Bernburg, in Germany, as examples and pointed out that urban renewal should be used to control the decline of urban central areas. The researchers proposed specific frameworks, governance models, and optimization strategies to maximize the economic and social benefits of urban land [66]. Zhang et al. point out that megacities in China urgently need to be developed to realize the current situation of intensive use of urban land, the need to build a concrete knowledge framework for megacities reconstruction, and, at the same time, place more emphasis on local background and policy dynamics, as well as the importance of public participation [67]. Campbell advocated the concept of green urban planning to guide urban land management, proposed the concept of “Planner’s Triangle”, and pointed out three key elements to coordinate urban land efficiency, in terms of environmental protection, economic development, and social equity, with the aim of achieving the goal of building a green city and realizing the coordination of the urban man–land relationship, spatial justice, and sustainable development of urban land management [68]. Durand-Lasserve and Royston looked at land in poor urban areas and used cities with different social, legal, and economic constraints as case studies to study how urban stakeholders can find solutions to secure urban land ownership and to meet the needs of most residents in shanty towns and informal settlements, and to provide experience for urban land management in developing countries, such as those in Africa, Asia, and Latin America [69]. Similarly, Mulherin, from the perspective of sociology and economics, pointed out that the supply of affordable housing could not only alleviate poverty in urban areas and promote social harmony but could also effectively save urban land and avoid the pressure brought by the massive development and construction of residential areas [70].


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Subjects: Urban Studies
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