Tropical Geography ›› 2020, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (5): 856-867.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003274

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Distribution Characteristics and Influencing Factors of Traditional Market Towns and Linpan Settlements in Chengdu Plain: A Case Study of Pi County, Chengdu City

Xueyuan Huang(), Lei Zhang(), Lian Zhou   

  1. College of Landscape Architecture, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China
  • Received:2020-03-08 Revised:2020-05-19 Online:2020-09-28 Published:2020-10-10
  • Contact: Lei Zhang;


Linpan is a unique, scattered rural settlement in Chengdu Plain. Linpan residents exchange materials and information in the market town, which is the central node of the traditional era. The spatial distribution of traditional market towns and Linpan settlements is developed on the basis of certain natural and social conditions, which are the manifestations of the relationship between man and land in Chengdu Plain. This study took Pi county as an example, as it represents the regional characteristic of Linpan in Chengdu plain. According to modern maps and related geographic information, this study revealed the changes in spatial distribution characteristics of Linpan settlements and the distribution of market towns in Pi County in 1947, 1970, 1985, 2000, and 2018, using GIS spatial analysis, kernel density estimation, Euclidean distance, Gini coefficient, and other methods. The results are as follows: First, there are clear spatial differences in the distribution of Linpan settlements in different periods. From the distribution characteristics of different periods, before economic reforms and liberalization, the distribution of Linpan settlements was affected by its political and economic center. Thereafter, the distribution of Linpan settlements demonstrates the characteristics of homogenization and rapid development. However, the process of urbanization has fundamentally changed the scattered characteristics of Linpan settlements, and its aggregation degree has considerably increased. From the distribution changes over time, the high-density Linpan settlements tend to distribute around the traditional market towns and urban built-up areas. Second, the market radius of the traditional market town is about 3 km, and the traffic condition primarily determines the site selection of the traditional town. Before the end of the Republic of China, the location of the market town was affected by waterway traffic. Afterwards, the transportation convenience introduced by waterway traffic was replaced by land traffic. Third, the equilibrium degree of spatial distribution of traditional market towns in different periods, is in the following order: 1985 > 2000 > 1970 > 2018 > 1947. The distribution of traditional market towns would tend to be balanced with the self-organizing behavior of Linpan residents and the regulation and control of relevant policies. However, because of an increase in policy intervention in the early stage of economic reforms and liberalization, the market town is no longer affected by the spontaneous activities of Linpan residents. The trading space of the market and town has changed from the traditional streets, squares, teahouses, and clubhouse gates to facilities and indoor fixed places. Finally, Linpan settlements are distributed along the river system. In the traditional period, the relationship between Linpan settlements and the major roads was not significant. However, currently, the Linpan settlements are distributed along the road. Based on the comparative analysis of several periods, this study reveals the distribution characteristics and evolution process of traditional market towns and Linpan settlements and discusses the relationship between them. Moreover, this can provide a new perspective for the orderly and healthy development of urban and rural space in Chengdu Plain.

Key words: Chengdu Plain, traditional market town, Linpan settlement, distribution characteristics, Pi County

CLC Number: 

  • K901.8