Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2018, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (5): 685-704.doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1499-4

• Research Articles • Previous Articles    

Optimizing the spatial organization of rural settlements based on life quality

Chengli TANG1(), Yanhua HE1, Guohua ZHOU1,2, Shanshan ZENG3, Luyao XIAO1   

  1. 1. College of Resource and Environment Science, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China
    2. Hunan Key Laboratory of Geospatial Big Data Mining and Application, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China
    3. Urban and Rural Planning Bureau of Wangcheng District, Changsha 410200, China
  • Received:2017-09-15 Accepted:2017-10-20 Online:2018-03-30 Published:2018-03-30
  • About author:

    Author: Tang Chengli (1964-), Professor, specialized in human geography and regional development.

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41471145;National Social Science Foundation of China, No.41201169;The Key Discipline of Hunan Province Geography Construction Project, No.2011001


Optimizing rural settlements is an important measure to cope with rural decline, and improve the quality of rural life and attractions. This study introduces the "life quality theory". Based on the mechanisms governing the interactions between rural settlement space and life quality, this study examines how to optimize the spatial organization of rural settlements. Three aspects are evaluated - the integration of rural settlement spatial functions, optimization of spatial structure, and regulation of spatial scale - with the objective of building an optimization mode and framework for the spatial organization of rural settlements with high life quality. Our results suggest the following: (1) The settlement is the spatial carrier of life quality, which is an essential settlement component, and these two aspects influence and improve each other. Therefore, reasonable rural settlement space is an important precondition for higher life quality. (2) The spatial function types of rural settlements can be divided into those that maintain livelihoods, develop industry, and upgrade life quality. Optimizing spatial organization of rural settlements based on life quality requires promoting the maintenance of livelihood, integration of industrial development, and implantation in quality improvement. (3) There are two important components of optimizing the spatial organization of rural settlements. One is promoting the organic concentration of living, agricultural, and industrial spaces, the reasonable distribution of social intercourse, recreational, and services spaces, and the organic balance of living, production, and ecological spaces, so as to reasonably optimize the combination of internal spatial types in settlements. The other is forming a functional structure level of a “comprehensive village-featured village” and building spatial organization settlement modes connected by rural roads by relocating and adjusting the function of villages. These changes would require the destruction of underdeveloped villages, retaining normal villages, enlarging important villages, and constructing new villages. (4) As an ideal mode for optimizing rural settlements space based on life quality, the Rural Road-Oriented Development Model (RROD model) should be built at a rational scale for unit settlement and distance between settlements, leading to a fully functional RROD system with rational structure, auxiliary facility, and well-organized distribution.

Key words: rural settlement, life quality, spatial optimization, RROD model