DOI: 10.3390/su152416837 ISSN: 2071-1050

A Study on the Spatial Change of Production–Living–Ecology in China in the Past Two Decades Based on Intensity Analysis in the Context of Arable Land Protection and Sustainable Development

Guangyuan Cui, Donglin Dong, Qiang Gao
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

During the period of rapid social and economic development spanning four decades of reform and opening up, China has witnessed significant transformations in its patterns of production, living, and ecology. Notably, there has been a noticeable escalation in the conflict between the spatial requirements for agricultural production and those for residential and ecological purposes. In order to address this issue, the government has enacted a set of measures aimed at safeguarding arable land. This study utilizes land use data from 2000, 2010, and 2020 to establish a spatial dataset representing China’s production–living–ecological space (PLES). The intensity analysis approach is employed to examine the features of changes in China’s PLES over the previous two decades. The findings of this study indicate that agricultural production space is mostly concentrated in the northeastern region and the plains of the Yangtze and Yellow River Basins. This distribution pattern has undergone a notable transformation characterized by a period of decline followed by subsequent growth. Simultaneously, the ecological space is primarily dispersed in the northwestern region and the Tibetan Plateau. South of the Hu Huanyong Line, there is a greater proportion of rural living area, urban living space, and industrial production space. Between the years 2000 and 2020, there was an observed increase in the intensity of PLES. This rising trend was primarily characterized by quantitative changes and exchange changes within each type of space. In contrast, between 2010 and 2020, there was a notable increase in the frequency and intensity of spatial transitions, particularly in relation to agricultural production space. Nevertheless, the transition to agricultural production space mostly entails ecological implications, characterized by a decline in cultivation quality but an improvement in environmental advantages. The policy of protecting arable land has a significant influence on the dynamics of the production, living, and ecological domains. To achieve the objective of maintaining the “trinity” of arable land quantity, quality, and ecology, it is imperative for the government to establish a comprehensive system for spatial category conversion. This will ensure the coordinated development of PLES. This study elucidates the constituents of intensity analysis and its analytical concepts, which can be employed to identify alterations in spatial patterns in different areas. It offers scholarly references for the subsequent execution of policies aimed at safeguarding arable land and the development of sustainable land management strategies. Consequently, this study holds substantial importance for advancing economic and social development and fostering sustainable growth.

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