Science Bulletin丨Regularity of rural settlement changes driven by rapid urbanization in North China over the three decades

Regularity of rural settlement changes driven by rapid urbanization in North China over the three decades

  Yansui Liu, Cong Ou, Yurui Li, Liqiang Zhang, Jianhua He

  The systematic decline of rural areas in the process of rapid urbanization has become a global trend, creating greater challenges for sustainable rural development. As the spatial projection of socio-economic development and living environment in rural areas, the continuous tracking of rural settlements (RUS) is crucial to quantify the imbalance of rural development. However, consistent information on RUS is highly needed but is quite deficient in current research. In this study, a cost-effective mapping model was proposed to produce an annual RUS dataset in the rapid urbanization region of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) in North China during 1990–2020, and the temporal-spatial regularity of RUS changes was further analyzed. The location-based and the area-based comparison verified the effectiveness of our model, with a mean overall accuracy of 85% and a mean correlation value of 0.88, respectively. The total area of RUS in the BTH region increased by 2561 km2 from 1990 to 2020, while the average size of RUS remained stable after 2005. The annual change trends in RUS appeared with increasing and decreasing accounting for 76.33% and 23.67%, respectively. The centroids of RUS in Tianjin and Hebei have moved closer to Beijing, while those in Beijing have moved away from the former. Notably, we have identified 56.3% counties in the BTH region belong to the ‘‘Convex-I” change type in RUS. In general, our work can help to consistently quantify the spatiotemporal patterns of RUS in a cost-effective way, providing more explicit spatial information and continuous temporal information for rural residential land management.