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Determining the Regional Carrying Capacity of the Wuhan City Circle Based on the Improved Ecological Footprint Method
Journal of the American Water Resources Association  (IF3.202),  Pub Date : 2021-07-08, DOI: 10.1111/1752-1688.12938
Yi Xiao, YuQi Ou, XiaoYang Qu, Liping Zhang, Xiang Zhang, Xia Jun

This study builds upon the traditional ecological footprint model by adding two new accounts of resource flows and using two new calculating method. This first account concerns water resources and accounts for water consumption in cities. The second account tracks basic types of pollutant accounts. Energy theory and net primary productivity were used to calculate the ecological footprint. Aiming at the problem of application in city, a city hectare spatial scale was used and a regional carrying capacity correction parameter was referenced. This framework provides insight into calculations of the bearing capacity of certain areas. The Wuhan City Circle was used as a case study with the objectives of calculating the ecological footprint and regional carrying capacity and analyzing its spatiotemporal evolution and capacity for sustainable development. The results indicated that from 2000 to 2015, the average annual rate of decline of the carrying capacity of the Wuhan City Circle was 9.18%, and from 2015 to 2017, the average annual rate of increase was 38.91%. The ecological footprints of fossil energy and build-up land accounts increased over the years, exposing problems with land and energy utilization in the Wuhan City Circle. The continuous decline of the water resources carrying capacity reminds policy makers to pay attention to the protection of water areas. These results can help policy makers integrate historical data to adjust existing plans and make more specific future plans.