Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2013, Vol. 68 ›› Issue (12): 1643-1656.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201312005

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Differentiation characteristics and forming mechanism of rural settlements in Central China

HE Yanhua1, ZENG Shanshan2, TANG Chengli1, ZHOU Guohua1, ZHANG Jie1, LI Li1   

  1. 1. Department of Resources and Environment Science, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410008, China;
    2. Wangcheng Planning and Management Bureau, Changsha 410008, China
  • Received:2013-01-11 Revised:2013-07-05 Online:2013-12-20 Published:2014-03-21
  • Supported by:
    National Social Science Foundation of China, No.07BJL033; The Key Discipline Construction Project of Hunan Province (Geography), No.2011001; Project Supported by Scientific Research Fund of Hunan Provincial Education Department, No.11C0799

Abstract: This paper makes a deep analysis of the differentiation characteristics and forming mechanism of rural settlements in Central China, in view of the core characteristic elements about rural settlements, such as scale and spatial form, facilities and housing condition, subject and social structure. The sampling-point method and transects method are adopted. The results are shown as follows. The spatial differentiation of rural settlements are obvious in Central China, and the "plain-hill-mountain" regional gradient, "developed-undevelopedunderdeveloped" economic gradient and "suburb-outer suburb-country" distance gradient are prominent. The factors has a joint effect, which include physiographic conditions, economic development and level of income, urbanization and urban-rural relationship, regional culture, national policy and systems, and so on. The factors are interacting and influencing each other in different ways. Physiographic conditions are stable factor that mainly affect "plain-hillmountain" regional gradient, by the "continuous reinforcement effect". Economic development and level of income, urbanization and urban-rural relationship are dynamic factors that mainly affect "developed-undeveloped-underdeveloped" economic gradient and "suburb-outer suburb-country" distance gradient, by the "inverted 'U' stage effect". In addition, regional culture influences rural settlements deeply and essentially by affecting peasant households' value system and behavior habit, which are semi-stable factors producing "bidirectional equilibrium effect".

Key words: forming mechanism, Central China, rural settlement, spatial differentiation