Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (6): 23040.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2023040

• Conservation and Governance • Previous Articles     Next Articles

On the spatiotemporal development and driving factors of national parks in China and the United States

Shidong Li*()   

  1. Department of Science and Technology, National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Beijing 100714
  • Received:2023-02-10 Accepted:2023-04-17 Online:2023-06-20 Published:2023-06-22
  • Contact: * E-mail:


Aims: As the largest developing and developed countries in the world, China and the United States, respectively, have achieved significant achievements in the construction of national parks that reflect the important symbols of a country’s civilization and progress. China’s national parks are still in their early stages and would therefore benefit from an understanding of the development experience of the United States in order to engage in healthy and sustainable development of national parks in China.

Method: This article adopted a research method that combined comprehensive induction with in-depth research, qualitative and quantitative analysis, and historical assessment in order to address practical needs. Through a comprehensive analysis of the development process of national parks in China and the United States, we conducted a systematic study on their connotation and extension, construction concept, development stage, spatial pattern, driving factors, along with several other aspects.

Results & Conclusion: The results show that China and the United States have many similarities and differences in the basic concepts of national parks, spatiotemporal development and evolution, and the driving factors associated with that evolution. The basic concepts and construction concepts of national parks in China and the United States are similar, and both are composed of national parks, national park systems, and natural reserve systems. Although China constructed national parks more than 100 years after those developed in the United States, China has a strong late-development advantage in accordance with the medium and long-term development strategy. By 2035, China will reach or even surpass the United States in the number, scale, spatial distribution, comprehensive capacity, and other aspects of the development of national parks. The driving factors of national parks in China and the United States include painter enlightenment, scholar appeal, government contribution, social cooperation, and technological assistance. If we can seek common ground while reserving differences, we can benefit from each other and jointly promote the harmonious progress of human civilization.

Key words: national park, national park system, basic concept, development stage, spatial pattern, driving factor