Human-Environment Interactions

Suitability evaluation of population and settlements spatial layout after Wenchuan Earthquake

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. China Tourism Academy, Beijing 100005, China

Received date: 2010-03-03

  Revised date: 2010-11-10

  Online published: 2011-06-15

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40971101; Knowledge Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.KZCX2-YW-321-05


The suitability evaluation of population and settlements spatial layout in the mountainous areas is an important basis on which the scale of population and settlement after Wenchuan Earthquake is determined. Based on the statistical data of field research, this paper chooses 1264 towns in 51 counties as the scope of evaluation, selects eight indices in the evaluation index system which includes post-disaster population scale, population density, urbanization rate, the percentage of migrant workers, death rate by earthquake, the percentage of minorities, elevation-slope integrated terrain and comprehensive geological condition. Besides, this paper uses AHP supported by entropy technique and fuzzy membership function model to calculate the suitability evaluation index and then divides the disaster areas into five types: highly suitable area (area accounted for 11.03%), relatively highly suitable area (15.29%), moderately suitable area (29%), less suitable area (30.08%) and unsuitable area (14.6%). According to the result of suitability evaluation, this paper puts forward several suggestions for the reconstruction as follows: the urban system and the building of new countryside should be guided by the suitability evaluation subareas; post-earthquake reconstruction avoids zones near Longmenshan fracture and high-mountain gorge areas as far as possible; the scale of population and settlement should not exceed the capacity of resources and environment; population should be resettled as close as possible by considering adequately the heterogenicity and homogeneity of regional nationality culture characteristics; densely resettle the people at plains and hilly areas; encourage the migrant workers settle in the working place with their families voluntarily; and urban system reconstruction such as industry layout and important projects of lifeline should be guided by the spatial layout suitability evaluation.

Cite this article

FANG Chuanglin, WU Fenglin, LI Maoxun . Suitability evaluation of population and settlements spatial layout after Wenchuan Earthquake[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2011 , 21(3) : 539 -548 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-011-0862-5