Tropical Geography ›› 2020, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (3): 498-514.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003212

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General Characteristics and Knowledge Maps Visualization Analysis of Human Settlement Research in China

Wang Yi1(), Lu Yuqi2, Zhu Yingming1, Ding Zhengshan2   

  1. 1.School of Economics and Management, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 210094, China
    2.School of Geographical Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2019-04-19 Revised:2019-10-24 Online:2020-05-31 Published:2020-06-30


Along with environmental problems that constantly emerge due to rapid industrialization and urbanization, human settlement, an ancient and new field in the man-land relationship research, is attracting increasingly wider attention in academia. Taking the China National Knowledge Internet (CNKI) and Chinese Science Citation Database (CSCD) as the literature search engines, and based on the platform of CiteSpace, this paper analyzes and summarizes the general characteristics and the mapping knowledge domain of human settlement research from 1992 to 2017 in China. The results show the following: 1) There has been a significant increase in the number of published articles on Chinese human settlements, and the Architectural Journal, City Planning Review, and Urban Development Studies are the main journals for publication. 2) The most competitive research institutions and teams are mainly found in the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), as well as in other architectural & planning and normal universities, such as Liaoning Normal University, Tsinghua University and others. 3) As for the funding sources, there is an obvious diversification trend with national funding being the primary source of research grants. 4) In terms of key research areas, human settlement, residential environment, livable city, human environment, sustainable development, living space, and the like have been focused on for a long time. 5) In terms of the research topics and intellectual base, the research content on human settlement is relatively broad, and there is no focus on any specific topic. Based on 31 classic articles, "Urban human settlements”, “livable city”, “rural human settlements”, “residential environment”, “nature suitability”, “residential satisfaction”, “sciences of human settlement”, and “population development” are 8 hot topics. 6) As for the evolution route, the development of research on human settlements in China has shown a clear evolutionary process and has a strong problem orientation and policy research orientation. Stages and dynamics of socio-economic development, as well as problem and policy orientations of research are the main driving forces for its evolution. In addition, the cooperation and exchange among scholars, interdisciplinary integration, and the innovation and application of new technology and methods can also promote its evolution. Throughout the history of Chinese human environment research, scholars have always focused on the nation's requirements, focusing on the two central elements (i.e. human and environment) of human settlements and their relationship. However, the understanding of related studies of theoretical cognition, research object and content, and research scale and method should also be further deepened and expanded. This paper clarifies the context of the development of the science of human settlements in terms of time, deepens the understanding and grasp of the human settlement research, as well as provides scientific reference for subsequent research.

Key words: human settlement, general characteristics, mapping knowledge domain, hot issues, visualization

CLC Number: 

  • F127