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Spatiotemporal evolution and driving forces of changes in rural settlements in the poverty belt around Beijing and Tianjin: a case study of Zhangjiakou city, Hebei Province

Abstract

The rural settlement is one of important aspects to understand regional human-environment relationships. Zhangjiakou city, located in the poverty belt around Beijing and Tianjin, was used as an example to analyze the evolution of rural settlements during 1985–2010 through the use of statistical and spatial analysis methods. The results demonstrate the following: (1) the area of rural settlements expanded from 665.76 to 928.14 km2 during 1985–2010. Rural settlements in prefecture city of Zhangjiakou were significantly agglomerated in terms of their spatial distribution, which presented an approximately normal distribution over the entire period. Rural settlements were usually distributed within regions where the terrain niche had an elevation of between 900 and 1500 m, and a slope from 5° to 20°; (2) there were significant regional differences in the density and size distribution of rural settlements in Zhangjiakou. The density of rural settlements in 2010 was higher than that in 1985, while there was a clustered distribution of rural settlements in 2010. There was a significant high value cluster in the size distribution, and a local negative correlation between the size and density distribution of rural settlements in Zhangjiakou; (3) rural economic development, investment in agricultural technology, and infrastructure improvement played important roles in the evolution of rural settlements. There were spatial differences in the relationship between the distribution of rural settlements and socio-economic factors in Zhangjiakou. This study provides practical guidance for the achievement of urban and rural integration development and the promotion of a new form of countryside construction.

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Acknowledgments

The study was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41571087). We are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for providing constructive comments and valuable suggestions in improving the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Yue-qing Xu.

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Sun, Pl., Xu, Yq., Liu, Qg. et al. Spatiotemporal evolution and driving forces of changes in rural settlements in the poverty belt around Beijing and Tianjin: a case study of Zhangjiakou city, Hebei Province. J. Mt. Sci. 14, 980–997 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-016-4059-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-016-4059-3

Keywords

  • Rural settlement
  • Spatiotemporal evolution
  • Driving factors
  • Geographical weighted regression
  • Zhangjiakou city