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

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Xuefeng Wang


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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd. 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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Li L, Li X, Hai B, Wang X, Xu J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Rural Studies

Year: 2020

Volume: 79

Pages: 45-56

Print publication date: 01/10/2020

Online publication date: 20/08/2020

Acceptance date: 11/08/2020

ISSN (print): 0743-0167

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2020.08.003


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