JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2021, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (3): 674-687.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20210311

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Evaluation of multifunctionality on village scale using location-based big data: A case study of Suzhou

YUAN Yuan1(), ZHANG Xiao-lin2,3(), LI Hong-bo2,3, HU Xiao-liang2, WANG Ya-hua2,3   

  1. 1. School of Public Administration, Hohai University, Nanjing 211100, China
    2. School of Geography, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
    3. Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2019-07-03 Revised:2019-11-15 Online:2021-03-28 Published:2021-05-28
  • Contact: ZHANG Xiao-lin;


Currently, China is in a stage of economic and social transformation, with an accelerated restructuring of urban-rural space, the redistribution and reorganization of production factor resources plays an important role in the transformation of rural space by promoting not only dynamic and pattern conversion but also a reconfiguration of functions and values. In the context of urbanization, rural settlements in Suzhou have manifested a diversified development pattern. Many villages have been urbanized, even more than towns. However, other villages have begun to transform towards specialization, such as historical and cultural protected villages, tourism villages, industrial villages, and modern agricultural villages. In light of these facts, rural development in Suzhou presents complex patterns of differentiation and reorganization, which means in the process of globalization, rural localities will not perish, and rural space will retain its diversity and otherness. Multifunctional rural space gives full play to comparative advantage, and the core value belongs to rural territory in urban-rural systems, indicating that the transformation of rural space is not simply a linear substitution of one by another. With rapid urbanization, rural space will not come to end but will become more diversified. Evaluation of multifunctionality on village scale is of importance to revealing differentiated development of rural space transforming from homogeneity to heterogeneity. Taking the exploration on activities variation of behaviour subject in rural space as a new approach, this study originally creates function index of habitat, work and consumption according to the patterns of human mobilities using location-based big data, and conducts an empirical analysis of Luxiang and Zhonganqiao villages mainly consisting of agricultural and ecological land, as well as Jishan and Zhoujing villages where construction land dominates. Results show that villages with similar regional characteristics have different dominant functions considering index change on weekday, weekend and holiday. Luxiang and Zhonganqiao villages are divided into two types: the combination of agriculture and tourism, and the competition of various industries. Jishan and Zhoujing villages are divided as another two types: modern industrial park, and urban community. As an attempt of big data application in rural geography, this study could provide references for classification development proposed in the national strategy of rural vitalization.

Key words: multifunctionality, village scale, function index, human mobilities, big data, Suzhou