Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 76 ›› Issue (6): 1489-.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202106012

• Rural Development and Settlement Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

An empirical study on rank cumulative size model of rural settlements in the Hehuang area

HUANG Wanzhuang1,2(), SHI Peiji1,3()   

  1. 1. College of Geography and Environmental Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
    2. School of Geography and Environmental Engineering, Lanzhou City University, Lanzhou 730070, China
    3. Land Use and Comprehensive Improvement Engineering Research Center of Gansu Province, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Received:2020-09-28 Revised:2021-04-19 Online:2021-06-25 Published:2021-08-25
  • Contact: SHI Peiji;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41771130)


Scientific determination of rural settlement system is one of the keys to implement the strategy of rural revitalization and promote the modernization of agriculture and rural areas. Meanwhile, understanding the distribution law of rural settlement size is helpful for the optimization of rural settlements. In order to provide a reliable theoretical basis for the study of rural settlement size distribution and the optimization of rural settlement system, this article took the Hehuang area as an example, and explored a more accurate expression and law of Rank Cumulative Size Model based on the original Rank Cumulative Size Model. Then we examined the applicability and accuracy of the model in rural settlement size distribution compared with the Rural Rank-Size Rule. We also studied the characteristics and evolution law of rural settlement size distribution in the study area. The results show that: (1) Rank Cumulative Size Model is a monotonously increasing concave function (P ≥ 1), and its expression varies with the change of the Pareto coefficient of rural settlements. When 1 ≤ P < 1.20225, Si = aln(Ni) + b, there is a positive correlation between the fitting coefficient a and the size of first settlements. When P ≥ 1.20225, $S_i=be^{aln(N_i)}$ the coefficient of variation of settlement size and the size of the first settlements are negatively correlated with the fitting coefficient a, and positively correlated with the fitting coefficient b. (2) Rank Cumulative Size Model is more suitable for the study of rural settlement size distribution in Hehuang as it has better applicability and accuracy; while the Rural Rank-size Rule is not applicable. (3) The rural settlement size in Hehuang nearly shows the equilibrium distribution pattern of Pareto coefficient 2 and tends to be more concentrated. In the future, the rural settlements should be concentrated in areas with superior natural and socio-economic conditions, and the layout of regional rural settlements and villages should be planned reasonably. Based on this, we can develop a rural revitalization path with the harmonious coexistence between human and nature, as well as between urban and rural development.

Key words: rural settlements, size distribution, Rank Cumulative Size Model, Rural Rank-Size Rule, Hehuang area