ISSN 1002-1027  CN 11-2952/G2

Acta scientiarum naturalium Universitatis Pekinensis

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Land-Use Change in Kunshan: Implications for Building New Socialist Countryside

LONG Hualou1, 3LIU Yansui1TANG Guoping2CHEN Yufu1   

  1. 1Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing,100101; 2Department of Geography, University of Oregon, OR 97403, USA; 3Corresponding Author, E-mail: longhl@igsnrr.ac.
  • Received:2006-10-17 Online:2007-11-20 Published:2007-11-20

Abstract: The central government of China recently released an important policy document on “building a new socialist countryside", which means advanced production, improved livelihood, a civilized social atmosphere, clean and tidy villages and efficient management. This paper analyzes characteristics, socio-economic driving forces of land-use change in Kunshan, Jiangsu province, China, and discusses the ways of building new socialist countryside and realizing sustainable rural development, from the perspective of land use. Based on remote sensing (RS) maps, change matrix is constructed for detecting land-use change between 1987 and 2000 through pixel-to-pixel comparisons. The outcomes indicate that, to a large extent, land-use change in Kunshan is characterized by a serious replacement of cultivated land with urban and rural settlements, artificial ponds, and construction land. For the whole area, fragmentation of land cover is very significant. In addition, the results of bivariate analysis indicate that industrialization, urbanization, population growth and China?s economic reform measures are four major driving forces contributing to land-use change in Kunshan. Finally, some managerial measures and policy implications for local building new socialist countryside are suggested as follows: (1) carrying out rural construction land consolidation, so as to improve villagersliving conditions; (2) implementing cultivated land consolidation to advance agricultural modernization; (3) laying out plan for building new socialist countryside; and (4) innovating the mechanism of sustainable land management.