TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (1): 82-91.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003001

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evolution of Rural Settlement Located in Rural-Urban Continuum Under the Dual Influence of Environment Change and Urbanization: A Case Study of the Tianxing Township in Wuhan

TANG Wanzhen1,2,CHEN Kunlun1,2,ZHENG Hongyang1,LI Tao3   

  1. (1.Faculty of Resources and Environmental Science,Hubei University,Wuhan 430062,China;2.Regional Development and Environmental Response Key Laboratory of Hubei University,Wuhan 430062,China;3.Environmental Governance Co. Ltd.,China University of Geosciences,Wuhan
  • Online:2018-01-05 Published:2018-01-05

Abstract: Rural transformation and development is an important topic for regional urbanization. In order to speed up the construction of rural ecological civilization and promote the process of new urbanization, it is important to understand the driving factors of multi-dimensional spatial transformation of the human-land system and pay attention to the interaction between human and environment in the villages. Based on this system, this study takes Tianxing township of Wuhan city as the object, combines the study with methods such as field research, mapping through observation, GIS spatial analysis and text analysis, and selects the period from early 1950s to 2016 as the study period. The paper deeply discusses the changes of the natural environment in the Yangtze River Basin and the relationship between Wuhan urbanization and evolution of rural settlements in Tianxing Township so as to reveal the characteristics of spatial changes in the rural settlements. The results show that: first, Tianxing Township has witnessed three stages including primary development, reform and development, and transformation and reconstruction, which is driven by the combination of the factors such as natural environment, social-economic conditions, policy and system. Second, the land-use pattern of Tianxing Township has transformed from single pattern to compound one, and the spatial structure of rural settlements transformed from that with three types of independent elements such as traditional life, production and ecology to that with multiple elements such as production-life and production-ecology. Therefore, the traditional rural functions are reconstructed. Third, the succession of the rural settlements in Tianxing Township is the result of the interaction between environmental change and urbanization. During the study period, the floods of the Yangtze River played a long-term stable role in the succession of the settlements space of Tianxing Township. In the process of rapid urbanization, the urban expansion and people’s demand for ecological environment have made a complex, multiple and far-reaching impact on the space of settlements in Tianxing township. Firstly, the basic pattern of spatial form of Tianxing Township is decided by its unique hydrological environment and ecological resources. Secondly, in order to control the frequent floods, related projects constructed have promoted the changes of the spatial pattern of the rural settlements in Tianxing Township. Thirdly, the gradually enhanced government regulation and power intervention are powerful driving factors for the evolution of the rural settlements of Tianxing Township. Forthly, the social and economic evolution of Tianxing township, accompanied by the progress of Wuhan urbanization, shows dual characteristics of “suppression and promotion”. According to the study, on the one hand, the syphonage effect on population and the continuously gathering of the resources in the city, have accelerated the decline of Tianxing township. On the other hand, they have promoted the tourism development of Tianxing Township. Tianxing Township has entered the stage of rural tourism-oriented transformation and upgradation, providing opportunity for the development of the rural settlements. This study holds the view that, at present, Tianxing Township is being in the early stage of the transition period. To promote the sustainable development of Tianxing Township, it is necessary to fully grasp the evolution rule of the rural spatial system and improve the internal and external mechanism of the reorganization, so as to explore the approaches which can promote sound transformation and development of the rural settlements in Tianxing township and establish a development model with regional characteristics for the township.

Key words: urbanization, rural settlements, environmental change, rural restructuring, the Tianxing Township