PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (3): 320-331.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2019.03.003

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Rural smart growth: Origin and practice

Wei SUN1(), Chonggang LIU1,2, Dongsheng YAN3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Watershed Geography Science, Nanjing Institute of Geography Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    2. Collage of Environmental Science and Engineering, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241000, Anhui, China
    3. School of Economics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
  • Received:2018-05-02 Revised:2019-01-07 Online:2019-03-28 Published:2019-03-28
  • Supported by:
    "One-Three-Five" Strategic Planning of Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. NIGLAS2017GH06 and NIGLAS2017GH07.


Smart growth theory advocates rational planning and adjustment of the structure and scale of economic development according to current conditions on the basis of prioritizing the ecological environment, so as to maximize the overall economic, social, and environmental benefits of urban and rural areas. At present, the smart growth concept is mainly applied in urban development practices. With the emergence of rural development problems and the rediscovery of the importance of rural areas, many regions have begun to apply smart growth to rural transformation and sustainable development. On the basis of reviewing the Chinese and international research on the theory and practice of smart growth, this article summarizes the connotation and principles of smart growth, and systematically analyzes the progress in research and practice with regard to the conceptual framework and implementation pathways of smart growth in rural areas. Combined with the practical needs of implementing the rural revitalization strategy in China, this article identifies several scientific issues that need to be paid attention to in future research on smart growth in rural areas. It is hoped that this study can provide some references for the related research of geography and for the scientific implementation of the strategy of rural revitalization.

Key words: smart growth, rural reconstruction, rural transition, origin and practice