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Special Issue "Institutions and Policies for Rural Land Conversion in the Quest for Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Volker Beckmann

Faculty of Law and Economics & Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University Greifswald, Soldmann Str. 15, 17487 Greifswald, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +49 3834 420 4122
Fax: +49 3834 420 4107
Interests: institutional change; institutional economics; environmental and resource economics; governance of natural resources; agricultural and land economics; conservation; technology adoption; sustainable land management
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Rong Tan

School of Public Affairs, Zhejiang University, P. R. China; Land Academy for National Development, Zhejiang University, P. R. China
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +86 571 56662168
Fax: +86 571 56662012
Interests: land economy; land institutions; natural and environmental management; governance; social-ecological systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rural land conversion is the process of converting land into alternative uses, in both rural and urban fringe areas, which is related to landscape change, social structure adjustment, and human–land relationship reconstruction. Conversions from agricultural to construction land, from constructed land to agriculture, or from unused land to agriculture, may serve as examples. The economic, social and ecological conflicts in rural land conversion are a common issue for sustainable development in many countries worldwide, including Germany and China.

As pressures from population, resource constraints, and environmental change are increasingly severe, economic development mode has gradually shifted from relying on incremental construction land supply to stressing on rural-urban idle construction land redevelopment and rural-urban land integrated use, including different off-set policies. How can countries facing these problems adopt suitable laws, institutions and policies that could guide and control rural land conversion practices in the quest for sustainability, i.e., facilitating “supply-side” structure reform of land resource, improving economic, social and ecological effectiveness of rural land conversion, as well as achieving harmonious, green and shareable development?

This Special Issue aims to bring researchers from multiple disciplines together to contribute to the theoretical and practical understanding on sustainable rural land conversion in different countries, including China and Germany. We welcome all researchers from relevant domains to submit papers that address the overarching concerns including but not limited to: 1) laws, institutions and policies reform on rural-urban land property rights; 2) laws, institutions and policies reform on rural-urban land use planning; 3) public participation mechanism for farmland conversion; 4) ecological offset mechanism for farmland conversion; 5) governance structures for rural-urban land redevelopment; and 6) agent-based modeling of institutions and policies for farmland conversion.

Prof. Dr. Volker Beckmann
Prof. Dr. Rong Tan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Rural land conversion
  • Institutions
  • Governance
  • Sustainable development
  • Rural-urban integration

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Rural Renewal of China in the Context of Rural-Urban Integration: Governance Fit and Performance Differences
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 393; doi:10.3390/su10020393
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 2 February 2018
PDF Full-text (6399 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
In recent years, rural-urban integrated development has become a vital national strategy in China. In this context, many regions have implemented rural renewal projects to enhance the vitality and development of rural areas. The objective of this study is to reveal the reasons
[...] Read more.
In recent years, rural-urban integrated development has become a vital national strategy in China. In this context, many regions have implemented rural renewal projects to enhance the vitality and development of rural areas. The objective of this study is to reveal the reasons why different rural renewal modes have emerged in contemporary China and assess their ability to facilitate rural-urban integration. An analytical framework, the Institution of Sustainability (IoS) and a comparative analysis of two cases are used for the rural renewal evaluation. Our findings indicate that the properties of transactions and the characteristics of the actors involved jointly determine the governance structures of rural renewal. Furthermore, different governance structures contribute to performance differences, particularly differences in the physical outcomes, distribution effects and process efficiency. Finally, we suggest relevant policy recommendations. Full article

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