JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2021, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (1): 1-26.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20210101

• Expert Interview •     Next Articles

The locality and adaptability of human settlements in the Yellow River Basin: Challenges and opportunities

WANG Fang1(), MIAO Chang-hong2, LIU Feng-gui3, CHEN Xing-peng4, MI Wen-bao5, HAI Chun-xing6, DUAN De-gang7, WANG Jin-ping8, ZHANG Zhan-cang9, WANG Cheng-xin10   

  1. 1. College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture/NSFC-DFG Sino-German Cooperation Group on Urbanization and Locality, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. Key Research Institute of Yellow River Civilization and Sustainable Development & Collaborative Innovation Center on Yellow River Civilization, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, Henan, China
    3. Academy of Plateau Science and Sustainability/College of Geographic Sciences, Qinghai Normal University, Xining 810008, China
    4. College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
    5. School of Resource and Environment, Ningxia University, Yinchuan 750021, China
    6. College of Geography Science, Inner Mongolia Normal University, Hohhot 010022, China
    7. School of Architecture, Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology/Shaanxi Village and Town Construction Research Center, Xi'an 710055, China
    8. College of Architecture, Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan 030024, China
    9. Henan Academy of Social Sciences, Zhengzhou 450002, China
    10. College of Geography and Environment/Collaborative Innovation Center of Human-Nature and Green Development in Universities of Shandong, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250358, China
  • Received:2020-07-20 Revised:2020-08-03 Online:2021-01-28 Published:2021-03-28


Due to the particularity of natural environment and geographical location, the human settlement environment of the Yellow River Basin is in a complex process of constant changes and is always facing severe challenges. The coupling process of human environment space with natural and social elements originates from the dynamic, comprehensive and systematic adaptation mechanism presented in the process of human-land relationship change, so revealing the system adaptation mechanism is the key to solve the human environment dilemma in the Yellow River Basin. Therefore, based on the perspective of "locality and adaptability", this paper invited experts and scholars from Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan and Shandong along the Yellow River and other provinces. They interpreted the characteristics of human settlements in the Yellow River Basin from the perspectives of natural geography, social economy, urban and rural development, and heritage protection, and sought sustainable strategies to adapt to China's new urbanization path. The main points are stated as follows: On the whole, the adaptability of human settlements in the study area has multi-scale spatial correlation and historical geographic dependence. The Yellow River Basin has an important ecological function, but the natural environment in different regions is facing such problems as land salinization, soil erosion and pollution, etc., so it is necessary to promote the greening of human-land coupling relationship. The Yellow River Basin, especially the cities along the upper reaches of the river, have distinct characteristics of openness, ethnic cultural diversity and integration. Due to the complex natural environment, caves and other special settlements have been formed in the middle and upper reaches of the Yellow River. In the process of rapid urbanization, they are faced with transformation and disappearance, retaining the cultural genes of traditional settlements, and it is urgent to classify and treat them differently to promote their healthy evolution. The internal and external radiation drive of urban agglomeration in the Yellow River Basin is the foundation of high-quality development throughout the river basin, and the optimization and upgrading of urban structure is an important way to promote high-quality development. To achieve sustainable development, scientific and technological innovation and industrial structure transformation and upgrading are also needed.

Key words: human settlement, locality, adaptability, sustainable development, Yellow River Basin