Evolution of rural settlement in an inland nonmetropolitan region of China at a time of rapid urbanisation: The case of Gongyi

Li Li, Xiaojian Li, Beibei Hai, Xuefeng Wang*, Jiawei Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rural settlements in China have been experiencing unprecedented transformation since the economic reforms of the late 1970s. This paper examines population movement over the post-reform era and how this affects settlement patterns in an inland nonmetropolitan county-level city region with a well performing economy. It is found that the settlement size distribution in Gongyi is generally transforming from a traditional rural pattern to one that features an urban system, taking place in the form of “in situ urbanisation” and “rural urbanisation”. Without experiencing mass out-migration and in line with the transition of China's political economy, Gongyi has developed its local urban system in parallel with the life and spatial cycles of city-based urbanisation in China. From the perspective of urbanisation cycles, “in situ urbanisation” underpinned by relevant socioeconomic and political conditions is argued to be both theoretically meaningful and practically useful in the context of the evolving settlement systems in China and less urbanised countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-56
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Volume79
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • China
  • In situ urbanisation
  • Nonmetropolitan region
  • Rural settlement
  • Rural urbanisation

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