PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2005, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (2): 69-79.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2005.02.008

Special Issue: 人口与城市研究

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Progress on the Study of Oasis Cities in Arid Zone of China

DU Hongru1,2, LIU Yi1   

  1. 1. Institute of Geography Science and Natural Resources, CAS. Beijing, 100101;
    2. Xinjiang Institute of Biology and Geography, CAS. Urumqi, 830011
  • Received:2004-11-01 Revised:2005-02-01 Online:2005-03-25 Published:2005-03-25


Oasis cities are the typical region of arid zone, which have the densest human activities and the most sensitive relationship between human and environment. It is positively worth studying oasis cities of China for theoretical and practical reasons. The history of research on oasis cities in China is firstly looked back, which started in 1980s, boomed in the middle of 1990s and are deepening in recent years.The emphasized directions of research are different in three periods. Based on many study productions of oasis cities in China, four main representative focuses can be summarized: (1) Exploration of the spatial features of oasis cities. Relying on the background of arid land, oasis cities embody special characteristics in different space dimensions, which are macroscopic layout, urban system and microscopic landscapes, respectively. (2)Research on mechanism of oasis urbanization. Different factors, including landform, water and land resources, mineral resource, human requirements and economic developing levels, have different effects on the forming and developing of oasis cities. All of these factors are acting on development course of oasis cities all along, with different intensions in different stages. (3) Region response of environmental system to the development of oasis cities. Oasis urbanization has been manifested to give negative influences on the environment of some arid areas but to give positive ones in others. (4) Research on the restriction of water to oasis cities. Water resource is the key aspect of development in oasis cities, but is not an absolute barrier. Many ways to sustainable development of water resource in oasis cities are taken forward.   The study of oasis cities is facing favorable opportunities in the near future. Three trends can help deepen the study, which are wider study field, crossing and amalgamation of multi-subjects, and synthesis of new methods and new techniques.

Key words: arid area, oasis cities, spatial features, water resources