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Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 736; doi:10.3390/su8080736

The Effects of Urban Sprawl on the Spatial Evolution of Rural Settlements: A Case Study in Changchun, China

College of Earth Science, Jilin University, Changchun 130061, China
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
Changchun Municipal Bureau of Land and Resources, Changchun 130011, China
Changchun Institute of Land Surveying and Mapping, Changchun 130012, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David J. O’Brien
Received: 25 April 2016 / Revised: 20 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 30 July 2016
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Detailed analysis of continuous time-series data from regions undergoing rapid urbanization can accurately reveal spatial variations on short time scales. This study used the city of Changchun in Jilin Province, China, as a case study to analyze total and annual changes in area—especially decreases in rural settlement area—as well as regional differences in these changes and driving forces of rural settlement evolution. Quantitative analytical techniques include a dynamic percentage of rural settlements, the distribution index of rural settlements, the regression correlation analysis, and other spatial analysis methods. Data were derived from a variety of sources, including land-use databases and social and economic statistics. The results show that the area of rural settlements decreased between 2009 and 2014, with the urban construction land expansion and decreases in cultivated lands. Rural settlements also became increasingly fragmented after 2009. Most of the rural settlements were located close to the urban construction land, and changes in rural settlement area were more pronounced with decreasing distance to the closest urban construction land, illustrating the effect of urban sprawl on rural settlement changes. The analysis also shows that the decreasing area of rural settlements between 2009 and 2014 is directly caused by urban sprawl. Regional development strategies and urban planning indirectly contribute to changes in the scale and spatial distribution of rural settlements by guiding urban development. The geographical environment and strict cultivated-land-protection policies also indirectly restrict changes in rural settlements by determining the restrictive area of urban expansion. No significant changes were found in the influence of population change on changing areas of rural settlements. In conclusion, the interaction of strategy for social-economic development, natural geography environments, and human demand jointly caused changes in rural settlements. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural settlements; spatial evolution; urban sprawl; Changchun city; distribution index; regression correlation analysis rural settlements; spatial evolution; urban sprawl; Changchun city; distribution index; regression correlation analysis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Li, D.; Wang, D.; Li, H.; Zhang, S.; Zhang, X.; Tao, Y. The Effects of Urban Sprawl on the Spatial Evolution of Rural Settlements: A Case Study in Changchun, China. Sustainability 2016, 8, 736.

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