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Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2170; doi:10.3390/su9122170

Spatial Patterns and the Regional Differences of Rural Settlements in Jilin Province, China

College of Earth Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China
Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 September 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Uses and Rural Governance)
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The spatial patterns of rural settlements are important for understanding the drivers of land use change and the relationship between human activity and environmental processes. It has been suggested that the clustering of houses decreases the negative effects on the environment and promotes the development of the countryside, but few empirical studies have quantified the spatial distribution patterns of houses. Our aim was to explore the regional differences in rural settlement patterns and expand our understanding of their geographic associations, and thus contribute to land use planning and the implementation of the policy of “building a new countryside”. We used spatial statistical methods and indices of landscape metrics to investigate different settlement patterns in three typical counties within different environments in Jilin Province, Northeast China. The results indicated that rural settlements in these three counties were all clustered, but to a varied degree. Settlement density maps and landscape metrics displayed uniformity of the settlement distributions within plain, hill, and mountainous areas. Influenced by the physical environment, the scale, form, and degree of aggregation varied. Accordingly, three types of rural settlements were summarized: a low-density, large-scale and sparse type; a mass-like and point-scattered type; and a low-density and high cluster-like type. The spatial patterns of rural settlements are the result of anthropogenic and complex physical processes, and provide an important insight for the layout and management of the countryside. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ripley’s K function; point pattern analysis; spatial statistics; geographic association Ripley’s K function; point pattern analysis; spatial statistics; geographic association

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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, X.; Li, H.; Zhang, Y.; Yang, L. Spatial Patterns and the Regional Differences of Rural Settlements in Jilin Province, China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2170.

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