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Journal of Geographical Sciences    2015, Vol. 25 Issue (4) : 497-511     DOI: 10.1007/s11442-015-1182-y
Orginal Article |
Spatial morphology evolution of rural settlements induced by tourism: A comparative study of three villages in Yesanpo tourism area, China
Jianchao XI1(),Xinge WANG1,2,Qinqin KONG1,2,Nan ZHANG1,2
1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
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Rural tourism has become an important driving force of rural urbanization in China. As the main reception base and important tourism attraction, tourism village is the core element of the tourism destination system. Integrating the method of PRA (Participatory Rural Assessment), GIS technology and high-resolution remote sensing images, this study aims to analyze the spatial morphology evolution of rural settlements induced by tourism through a comparative study of three tourism villages in Yesanpo tourism area. The results suggest the emergence of a “core-periphery” pattern of the spatial evolution of rural settlements. The closer to the core scenic spot, the higher degree of land-use intensity the village shows, as well as the more mature tourism function and greater change in landscape pattern. In particular, Gougezhuang shows an increase of the floor area ratio from 0.17 to 0.44, with the most mature tourism function and the lowest authenticity index of 0.448. Liujiahe has gone through the largest increase in construction land area from 17.3564 ha to 34.1128 ha, with moderately mature tourism function and relatively stable authenticity index of 0.566. Shangzhuang has the lowest construction land scale and intensity, with the poorest tourism function and most well-preserved landscape authenticity index of 0.942. Overall, in terms of the spatial morphology, the three villages show the characteristics of “modern town”, “semi-urbanization” and “traditional village” respectively, in corresponding to three land development types: “intensive reconstruction type”, “enclave extension type” and “in situ utilization type”. The spatial evolution patterns of these three villages imply the spatial characteristics of the touristization of traditional villages in different stages, and also have great representative value for the management of rural settlements in tourism areas in China.

Keywords rural settlements      land use      spatial evolution      Yesanpo tourism area     
Fund:National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40971299
About author: Xi Jianchao (1972-), PhD and Associate Professor, specialized in tourism planning, land use change driven by tourism and the environmental effect. E-mail:
Issue Date: 24 June 2015
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Jianchao XI
Xinge WANG
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Jianchao XI,Xinge WANG,Qinqin KONG, et al. Spatial morphology evolution of rural settlements induced by tourism: A comparative study of three villages in Yesanpo tourism area, China[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2015, 25(4): 497-511.
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Figure 1  The location of the study villages
Village Household number Labor number Number of tourism employees Per capita income (yuan/person) Distance to the Bailixia Canyon scenic area (km)
Gougezhuang 542 446 942 6500 0.5
Liujiahe 159 177 178 5500 2
Shangzhuang 202 191 86 4200 7.5
Table 1  The outline of the three villages (2010)
Subject Index Standard
(3-5 scores) (1-3 scores) (1 score)
Building History Built before 1970 Built during 1970-1980 Built after 1990
Typicality Buildings with obvious geographical features Buildings with relatively obvious geographical features Buildings with poor geographical features
Locality Traditional building Traditional Building with modern decoration Modern building
Yard The gardening degree of yard Natural plant A small amount of modern decoration Modern decoration
The living function of yard Entirely living function Half living and tourism function Entirely tourism function
The distance among yards Nature configuration and distance Regular configuration and the large distance Regular configuration and equidistant, small distance
Settlement The variety of rural public space With traditional public space at the center With traditional public space away from the center With other space at the center
The convenience of internal village traffic Natural materials, with low accessibility Semi-natural materials, with certain accessibility Human materials, with high accessibility
The integrity of settlement With more than 75% perfectly reserved historic appearance With 25%-75% perfectly reserved historic appearance With less than 25% perfectly reserved historic appearance
Table 2  Evaluation index system of rural settlement landscape authenticity
Village Construction area of initial phase (m2) Construction area of current phase (m2) Expansion area (m2) Expansion
speed (m2/a)
K (%/a)
Gougezhuang 87794 160082 72288 3012.0 3.40
Liujiahe 173564 341128 167564 6981.8 4.00
Shangzhuang 49727 79430 29703 1237.6 2.50
Table 3  Construction expansion of three villages during the period of study
Figure 2  Spatial-temporal changes of land-use expansion of the three villages during the study period
The plot ratio Gougezhuang (1986-2010) Liujiahe (2004-2010) Shangzhuang (2007-2010)
The initial phase 0.17 0.08 0.28
The current phase 0.44 0.34 0.26
The changes 0.27 0.26 -0.02
Table 4  Changes of the villages’ plot ratio during the study period
Figure 3  Land-use function changes of the three villages during the study period
Original land use type Conversion of land-use type IV
Gougezhuang Liujiahe Shangzhuang
Public service land Tourist accommodation 4.607 0.000 3.334
Ordinary residential land 0.000 0.000 3.198
Other land 0.000 0.000 21.202
Ordinary residential land Tourist accommodation 821.881 1.236 26.313
Tourist shopping 65.781 0.000 5.289
Tourist entertainment 167.390 0.000 0.000
Other land 0.000 17.623 0.000
Cultivated land Public service land 0.000 1.645 9.388
Other land 677.165 677.165 59.106
Ordinary residential land 0.000 4.333 19.551
Tourist accommodation 25.560 28.785 34.982
Tourist shopping 2.940 1.064 1.240
Tourist entertainment 1.350 1.350 0.000
Other land
vacant and bare land
Ordinary residential land 10.976 18.598 11.490
Tourist accommodation 0.867 18.989 4.907
Tourist shopping 233.617 0.987 0.000
Tourist catering 100.824 0.987 0.000
Tourist entertainment 1.524 0.611 0.000
Public service land 0.000 1.621 0.000
Table 5  Dominant types of land-use change in different villages during the study period
Mandatory layer Index Village score
Gougezhuang Liujiahe Shangzhuang
Building style History 0.277 2.254 4.896
Typicality 0.254 2.569 4.653
Locality 0.251 2.988 4.264
Yard structure The gardening degree of yard 0.364 2.421 4.699
The living function of yard 0.132 3.237 4.635
The special distance between households 0.222 2.452 4.633
The variety of rural public space 0.225 2.136 4.256
The convenience of internal village traffic 0.336 2.251 4.231
The integrity of settlements 0.256 2.241 4.987
AI 0.048 0.566 0.942
Table 6  Total scores of the authenticity of the three villages
Figure 4  The remote sensing image in 2008 and villages landscape style schematic of Gougezhuang village (left), Liujiahe village (middle), and Shangzhuang village (right) in 2010
Figure 5  The evolutionary path and its development trend of rural settlements in different geographical locations in Yesanpo tourism area
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