As a result of rural settlements moving and relocation for coal mining and rural settlements expansion for new village construction, the rural settlements have been dramatically changed in the mixed mining-rural-settlement area of the Pinglu District of Shuozhou City in northern Shanxi Province of China. There are few studies that assess the characteristics and reasons of rural settlement changes in this compound area. This paper used satellite data and secondary data information on social and economic development in a mixed-method case study to analyze the characteristics and reasons of rural settlement changes in Pinglu District of Shuozhou City in northern Shanxi Province of China over the period 1986–2013. Three significant research findings were: (1) There were notable changes in the distribution of the rural settlements, and the total area of rural settlements increased by 1862.28 ha between 1986 and 2013, with the transformation of cultivated land to rural settlements being the most dominant change in land use. (2) The rural settlements increased with buffer radius increased up to 6–8 km which has become the standard boundary for rural settlement distribution. (3) The influential factors that have been identified for rural settlement changes included avoiding impacts due to coal mining, an urgency to build simple houses for the compensation, the relocation of farmers, the construction of new villages and land reclamation of abandoned rural settlements. These findings are useful for resource-based rural settlement management, providing reasonable compensation and relocation options when acquiring land in mining areas both within and beyond the study area in China.
Habitat International – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2017
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