PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (12): 2311-2326.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2022.12.010

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Spatiotemporal evolution and mechanism of rural transformation: A case study of Yuzhong County in Gansu Province

SHI Yuzhong1(), ZHAO Linlin2, ZHAO Xueyan1, LAN Haixia3   

  1. 1. College of Geography and Environment Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
    2. Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China
    3. College of Economics, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Received:2022-04-02 Revised:2022-08-25 Online:2022-12-28 Published:2022-12-31
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(42001268);Innovation Ability Promotion Program of Colleges and Universitiesin Gansu Province(2019A-010);Young Doctor Fund of Gansu Provincial Department of Education(2021QB-021);Northwest Normal University Young Teachers' Scientific Research Ability Promotion Program(NWNU-LKQN2020-17)


Rural transformation is the key to rural revitalization, and it is also an important basis for the transformation of agriculture, rural areas, and farmers. This study constructed a rural transformation indicator system based on population, land use, and industrial transformations, which is applied to a case study of Yuzhong County in Gansu Province in the hilly region of the Loess Plateau. Based on multi-source data such as statistical data from 2002 to 2018, rural household survey data, and remote sensing data, entropy method, analytic hierarchy process, rural transformation degree model, and spatial analysis method were used to quantify and analyze the rural transformation and its spatial-temporal evolution patterns, and to describe the pathways of rural household livelihood transformation from the perspectives of county and rural households. Then, we applied the regime shift theory to describe the mechanism of rural transformation, using the stepwise regression analysis method to identify the key factors driving rural transformation. The results show that: 1) The rural transformation degree, industrial transformation degree, and population transformation degree in Yuzhong County increased significantly from 2002 to 2018, while the land use transformation degree decreased steadily. The difference between rural transformation degree and industrial transformation degree was obvious and changed greatly, especially in the central plain area. 2) Rural transformation, population transformation, and industrial transformation basically showed a spatial pattern of relatively high and high-speed transformation in the central area, low-speed transformation in the north, and transition from low-speed to relatively high-speed transformation in the south, accompanied by step-by-step and cross-level changes, and the spatial distribution of land use transformation was relatively scattered. The hot spots of rural transformation, population transformation, industrial transformation, and land use transformation were concentrated in the central plain area of the county, while cold spots were mainly concentrated in the northern mountainous area. 3) The livelihood transformation pathways of rural households were diverse, which showed comprehensive transformation in the northern mountainous area, and part-time farming in the central plain and southern mountainous areas. 4) Rural transformation regime shift has taken place in the central plain area, while in the southern mountainous area rural development is progressing but a regime shift has not occurred, and rual transformation is not significant in the northern mountainous area. 5) Fixed asset investment is the key factor of rural transformation in Yuzhong County. Finally, the results aim to provide a theoretical basis for rural revitalization and rural high-quality development in the hilly region of the Loess Plateau from the new perspective of rural transformation study.

Key words: rural transformation, livelihood transformation, rural transformation degree, rural high-quality development, regime shift, Yuzhong County of Gansu Province