PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (4): 660-669.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2020.04.013

• Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Historical development and prospect of rural living space research in China

GAO Li1, LI Hongbo1,2,*(), ZHANG Xiaolin1,2   

  1. 1. School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
    2. Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2019-04-15 Revised:2019-07-25 Online:2020-04-28 Published:2020-06-28
  • Contact: LI Hongbo
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41501187);National Natural Science Foundation of China(51778002);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41571164);The Humanities and Social Sciences Financed by Ministry of Education(20YJCZH069)


Rural living space is the microcosm of rural development, which reflects the human-environment relationship in rural areas. With the implementation of the Urban-Rural Integration Strategy and the Rural Revitalization Strategy, coupled with the development of the new-type urbanization and globalization, rural space, including rural living space, has been restructured as a whole, and the countryside has entered a new period of development. In this process, how rural living space map and influence rural development is a topic worthy of discussion from multiple perspectives. Based on the review of literature, this article holds that the rural living space is the space of the daily life behavior of rural residents, a multi-level territorial complex of rural residents' living, leisure, socializing, consumption, and public service activities, and an important part of rural social space. The study of rural living space in Chinese academia started in the 1920s. According to the characteristics of different stages of economic and social development of China, this study divided the research of rural living space into four periods: the exploration period before the founding of the People's Republic of China; the stagnation period before the Reform and Opening-up; the revival period after the Reform and Opening-up; and the rapid development period since the 21st century. However, compared with international rural living space research and Chinese urban living space research, the study of rural life in China tends to be empirical, lacking comprehensive deep examination and theoretical model construction. In the new era of development, the study of rural living space in China should construct a complete research framework and carry out multi-level and all dimensional exploration on basic theories, research subjects, and diverse research perspectives.

Key words: rural living space, rural space, historical development, prospect