Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2006, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (10): 1093-1100.doi: 10.11821/xb200610009

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Rural Housing Land Transition in China: Theory and Verification

LONG Hualou1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Center, the Ministry of Land and Resources, Beijing 100035, China
  • Received:2006-02-06 Revised:2006-06-26 Online:2006-10-25 Published:2006-10-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40635029; No.40201001; Programme for Hundred Excellent Young Scientists of the Ministry of Land and Resources


This paper develops a theoretical framework for rural housing land transition in China. Land use transition refers to the changes in land-use morphology over time, and it usually corresponds to a particular socio-economic development phase. Land use transition is also one of the major research contents of Global Land Project (GLP), a joint research agenda of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) to improve the understanding of land system dynamics. Although our understanding of land-use and land-cover change (LUCC) has improved through carrying out a lot of studies on land system, it seems that LUCC research still remains under-theorized. Research on land use transition needs new methods to incorporate the historical aspects and timescales of social and environmental changes. The discipline which in principle should be most able to meet the demands is geography. There is tremendous scope for this kind of study, which needs the knowledge concerning physical geography as well as human geography. By understanding the change process of rural housing in China, theoretical hypothesis on rural housing land transition was put forward. It is assumed that rural housing in China will undergo specific stages-the proportion of rural housing in the increase of total construction land will decline gradually with the development of the local economy, and the end of the transition corresponds to a kind of equilibrium between rural housing and other construction activities. Henceforth, the research results of rural housing land transition in the transect of the Yangtze River were used to verify the above hypothesis.

Key words: land use transition, land-change science, rural housing land, theory, verification, China