The impacts of population growth and agglomeration development on urbanization are complex. They cannot be effectively disentangled by simple fixed-effect regression analyses. This study introduces the land use intensity (LUI) metric to measure urbanization, and further applies quantile and threshold regression models to examine the impacts of population (POP) and agglomeration development (AGD) on land use intensity using a sample of 297 Chinese cities. The results reveal the heterogeneous effects that POP and AGD have on LUI. Variation is also observed in the effects of POP and AGD on LUI by POP/AGD intervals. As POP increases, its pressure on LUI increases. In contrast, the accumulative effects of development are beneficial in restraining overdevelopment of land resources within a specific range. The findings suggest that understanding complex human and development effects provides valuable insights, references, and implications for urban development and land use policies, which can guide cities with greater potential land development space in reducing the risk of unsustainable urbanization. Policies are recommended for ecological construction, city grouping, and sustainable land use.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Nature and Landscape Conservation
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law