Toward serving land consolidation on the table of sustainability: An overview of the research landscape and future directions

Toward serving land consolidation on the table of sustainability: An overview of the research landscape and future directions
Yuzhu Zang     Yuanyuan Yang     Yansui Liu 
         Land consolidation, as a sustainability-oriented policy design, has been implemented worldwide for promoting agricultural production and rural development. Although there has been a large number of publications on land consolidation, few attempts have been made to systematically assess the existing research. To fill this gap, here we present a comprehensive literature review of land consolidation based on materials collected from Web of Science. Through applying quantitative and qualitative analysis to the collected literature, including statistical analysis, cluster analysis and main path analysis, we found: (1) Land consolidation has formed an interdisciplinary research field with more than one century’s history, with scientists from developing countries more active than those from developed countries. (2) The hot topics of rural sustainability, impacts evaluation, land fragmentation and land reallocation are closely related to the theme of land consolidation. (3) Research of land consolidation mainly covers three knowledge domains: origins of land consolidation, operation process of land consolidation, and impacts of land consolidation. To advance land consolidation to better serve the pursuit of sustainability, we suggest to take a diagnostic approach to assessing the suitability and feasibility of land consolidation before launching a project, and to adopt a transdisciplinary approach to linking science with knowledge through involving both scientists and stakeholders into the knowledge production and application process.