Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society | IREES News

A global North-South division line for portraying urban development

23 July 2021

Authors: Yatao Zhang, Xia Li, Shaojian Wang, Yao Yao, Qingquan Li, Wei Tu, Hongfang Zhao, Hui Zhao, Kuishuang Feng, Laixiang Sun and Klaus Hubacek.

Journal: iScience 24, 102729, July 23, 2021.


Rapid urbanization has tremendously changed the global landscape with profound impacts on our society. Nighttime light (NTL) data can provide valuable information about human activities and socioeconomic conditions thus has become an effective proxy to measure urban development. By using NTL-derived urban measures from 1992 to 2018, we analyzed the spatiotemporal patterns of global urban development from country to region to city scales, which presented a distinct North-South divergence characterized by the rising and declining patterns. A global North-South division line was identified to partition the globe into the Line-North and the Line-South geographically, which accorded with the socioeconomic difference from the aspects of urban population and economy. This line may keep a certain degree of stability deriving from the trends of population and economic information but also bears uncertainties in the long term.

Last modified:17 August 2021 11.34 a.m.

More news

  • 12 September 2023

    Art in times of AI

    Leonardo Arriagada Beltran conducted his PhD research on the interface of computer-generated art and the constantly evolving field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). He will defend his Phd thesis on 21 September. His research offers valuable insights...

  • 28 August 2023

    Harish Vedantham and Casper van der Kooi nominated for 'Wetenschapstalent 2023'

    Harish Vedantham and Casper van der Kooi have been nominated by New Scientist for Wetenschapstalent 2023 (Science Talent 2023). This election is meant to give young scientists and their research a stage.

  • 26 July 2023

    Five promising UG researchers to top institutes abroad on Rubicon grants

    No less than five promising PhD graduates from the University of Groningen will be able to conduct research at top institutes abroad for two years thanks to the Rubicon programme organized by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research...