Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2004, Vol. 59 ›› Issue (7s): 21-32.doi: 10.11821/xb20047s004

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Recent Progress of Studies on Man-land Relationship and Its Prospects in China

FANG Chuanglin   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2004-02-16 Revised:2004-07-06 Online:2004-12-25 Published:2004-12-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40335049; Knowledge Innovation Project of CAS, No.KZCX2-SW-318-03


Based on the systemic summary of the progress of studies on man-land relationship in China since 1990, including its theories, methods and applications, a series of problems that should be urgently resolved in the study are put forward. And some important study orientations are viewed. Studies show that man-land areal system has always been regarded as the core of geographical study by geographers in China. Man-land relationship has been studied from various viewpoints. The basic characteristic, the embranchment and the evolvement trends of man-land system have all been discussed in detail. First, man-land relationship theories of new type have come into being, including man-land system optimization theory, man-land system coupling theory, man-land system dissimilation theory, man-land system dialectic theory, man-land system conflict theory, man-land system crisis theory, man-land system confusion theory, the Man-Earth Synergetics, man-land system intergrowth theory, huge system of universe-earth-human theory, and so on. And the theoretic system has also come into being step by step. Secondly, the methodological studies on man-land system are multiple. Qualitative and quantitative methods, mathematic simulation methods, 3S methods, and comprehensive integration methods are all used. Finally, the applications of man-land system theories are very successful. Regional sustainable development of different spatial and temporal scales has been studied. Although the recent progress of studies on man-land relationship in China is obvious, some problems still exist. For example, the research outlay and institutions are very short, the theoretic studies are not mature, the applications are not well popularized, and the geographers have little service consciousness. So in the future, the following important study orientations are viewed: (1) scientific development viewpoint should be followed and man-land relationship theories should be improved; (2) regional sustainable development and circle economy should be further studied; (3) global problems, global change and the corresponding regional response should be further studied; (4) comprehensive studies should be emphasized; (5) the mechanism, process, pattern and rhythm of controlling the man-land system should be further studied; and (6) environmental and ecological ethic should be further studied.

Key words: man-land relationship, man-land areal system, macro-progress, problems and thought, orientation and prospect, China