JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2021, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (1): 38-54.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20210103

• Evolution of City and Town Settlements • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The historical evolution of urban settlements and man-land coupling in Wuding River Basin

TONG Biao1,2(), DANG An-rong1(), ZHOU Hong-yu1   

  1. 1. School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
    2. Department of Surveying and Mapping, Liaoning Provincial College of Communications, Shenyang 110122, China
  • Received:2020-05-18 Revised:2020-08-18 Online:2021-01-28 Published:2021-03-28
  • Contact: DANG An-rong;


The Wuding River Basin, located in the Loess Plateau of the middle reaches of the Yellow River, is a typical transitional zone and ecologically fragile area in history. Based on the analysis of the historical development process of urban pattern and the coupling relationship between human and land in this process, this paper puts forward the countermeasures and suggestions for the future urban development and ecological protection of the basin in combination with the current situation of urban development. The main findings are as follows: the development and evolution of the urban hub area in the basin was bow shaped in the Tang Dynasty and before, when the natural conditions were better, and the urban spatial layout was mainly based on natural factors; the hub area after the Tang Dynasty presented a triangle pattern, and the urban spatial layout was mainly based on human factors; the contemporary urban pattern of the basin inherited the context of historical development, but the driving force of urban development was mainly based on resources along the Great Wall. The human activities have an impact on the vegetation coverage in some areas; at the same time, the ecological protection policies, such as returning farmland to forests, wind prevention and desertification control, have exerted positive effects. It is suggested that the development of the river basin should be reasonably determined and concentrated around the main cities and towns in combination with the national strategic positioning and regional ecological environment bearing capacity. In addition, the ecological barrier and key prevention and control areas are constructed with the river as the backbone.

Key words: urban settlement, spatial pattern, Wuding River Basin, geographical hub, man-land coupling