Analyzing sustainability of Chinese mining cities using an association rule mining approach

Lijun Zeng, Bingcheng Wang, Liu Fan, Jianguo Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Mining cities are of vital importance to the global development, but they are facing great challenges to achieve sustainability goals. Understanding the characteristics and patterns of the environmental, economic, and social conditions of mining cities is critical to promoting their sustainability. After developing an Indicator System for Mining City Sustainability, we collected data from 110 prefecture-level cities and analyzed environmental, economic, and social characteristics of these mining cities using a data-mining method – Association rule mining. Our analysis revealed some novel, implicit, and previously unknown characteristics and patterns of mining city sustainability in China. We found that education investment, economic development, and some aspects of society were substantially unbalanced in most Chinese mining cities. Most coal-mining cites had a larger proportion of mining population, and usually faced severe challenges in reducing industrial dust emission. The unsustainable characteristics of Chinese mining cities exhibited distinctive regional patterns and should be considered explicitly in policy making to promote the sustainability of these urban areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-404
Number of pages11
JournalResources Policy
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016



  • Association rules
  • China
  • Data mining
  • Mining cities
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this