PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2013, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (5): 710-721.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.05.003

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research progress on human settlement evolution

ZHANGWenzhong1, CHEN Li1,2, YANG Yizhao3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management, University of Oregon, Eugene 97403, USA
  • Received:2012-09-01 Revised:2013-01-01 Online:2013-05-25 Published:2013-05-25

Abstract: Human settlement is a general term used for a temporary or permanent living space of human beings. It is also the place where human activities have most severe effects on the natural environment, hence the focus of academic studies. In this article we reviewed the development of human settlement research and summarized theories and methods on human settlement evolution at home and abroad. We discussed the research progress on data platform monitoring the dynamic changes, indicator system evaluating evolutional trends, key influence factors and mechanisms, and integrated simulation models. Generally speaking, the concept, content, influence factors, and evolutional mechanisms have not been clearly understood yet. Overseas researches are using modern geographic approaches and modeling methods to generate insights into the dynamic changes of human settlements. They also introduced integrated researches from geography, urban planning, sociology and ecology into the mechanism studies. However, the focus of Chinese researches is mainly the evaluation of human settlement; there is little research on the evolutional mechanism of human settlement. We suggested that more inter-discipline collaborations, integrated databases, modern analytical approaches, and modeling methods are needed in this research realm. We pointed out that the regions undergoing rapid urbanization in China are experiencing drastic environmental and social changes and are worth studying.

Key words: evolution, human settlement, research progress