With the development of urbanisation, the contradiction between urban expansion and lake protection becomes increasingly evident. Particularly, lake reclamation of urban construction causes serious damage to the water system and further affects the ecological environment of urban areas. On the basis of the interpretation and analysis of long time-series remote sensing images, this study evaluated the spatial pattern and dynamic changes of urban built-up areas and lakes in Wuhan from 1987–2018 and analysed the role of urban policies in this process. A coupling coordination degree model was used to analyse the correlation between them. Results show that with the continuous advancement of urban construction and renewal of urban policies, the coupling degree between urban expansion and lake change in Wuhan has been on the rise in the past 30 years. Moreover, the antagonistic relationship between urban construction and lake protection has gradually eased from severe imbalance to slightly balanced, and the negative impact of urban development on lake change has gradually decreased. The findings underscore the need for Wuhan to adhere to policies that promote lake protection. Lake supervision should be strengthened, and ecological restoration should be actively promoted. Furthermore, sustainable urban development policies should be maintained to improve the quality of urban development.
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