The Spatial Analysis and Sustainability of Rural Cultural Landscapes: Linpan Settlements in China’s Chengdu Plain
Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610000, China
Department of Integrated Science and Engineering for Sustainable Society, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University, Tokyo 112-8551, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4431; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164431
Received: 15 July 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 12 August 2019 / Published: 16 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Landscapes Preservation and Social–Ecological Sustainability)
Amid rapid urbanization and globalization, rural zones in many countries have undergone dramatic shifts. Although the future development of cultural landscapes is clear, their planning and management are uncertain. The Chengdu Plain is one of the most prosperous in China, which is home to well-developed irrigation and drainage systems, with the earliest history of planting found in Sichuan Province. The Chengdu Plain’s unique farming landscape is an important human resource that represents the natural integration of the material and spiritual forms in the farming era. This study takes the unique farming settlements in Dujiangyan Irrigation District as the research object and analyzes the culture, human environment, and spatial order of the Linpan settlement based on the system theory. From the hierarchical structure of each individual Linpan settlement to the spatial layout of the Linpan community, the changes in the relationship between humans and land in the farming area are explored to explain the sustainability of the rural cultural landscape. With long-term field research, the rural geographic information database is built as a basis for the identification and classification of Linpan Cultural landscape types. The results show that between 2005−2018, the Linpan of Juyuan Town illustrated a decreasing trend, and about six Linpan settlements disappeared per square kilometer. The change in the type of Linpan landscape is spatially unbalanced, which is mainly due to the difference between regional development and residents’ needs. This study introduces the concept of “demand” and “restriction” in sustainable development to explore a future strategy of maintaining the cultural landscape, which is expected to provide a basis for future policy formulation to protect the traditional rural landscape.