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Analyzing the Causes of Spatial Differentiation of the Traditional Villages in Gansu Province, Western China

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: The study and protection for traditional villages are very important for us to protect Chinese historical and cultural heritage. Data show that under the condition of rapid urbanization. The number and coverage of traditional villages in western China are decreasing. It is impossible to effectively protect a large number of rural settlements at the bottom of China’s traditional settlement system. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the spatial survival status of traditional villages and protect them comprehensively and extensively. Using the digital elevation model (DEM) data of traditional villages in Gansu Province, China, published by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and the attribute data obtained by the Statistics Bureau of Gansu Province, China, the nuclear density, the Mulan indices, the correlations between the heights and the centers are calculated and used to study the spatial different characteristics of the villages, and a number of results have been achieved: 1) In spatial differentiation, the spatial agglomeration of the villages is obvious and different, which can be seen by the distribution of the villages from along the upper reaches of the Yellow River to the southeast, and the distribution of prefecture-level cities is related to the landforms. 2) In vertical spatial distribution, the span of the altitude data is large. Among the villages, the Zagana Village in Diebu County of Gannan City is the highest and the Zhengjiashe Village in Bingkou Town of Longnan City is the lowest. With the increase of altitude, the number of traditional villages generally shows a tendency of decrease. 3) The spatial differentiation of the traditional villages has a clear normal distribution with the elevation, and the spatial differentiation is low, showing a distinct gourd-like structure; the eastern and southern regions are more concentrated, while the northern and western regions are less concentrated. 4) The spatial differences of the traditional villages have the characteristics of regional differences, which are weakly related to the distance between the central cities and occur mainly in the Longnan mountain regions, the Loess Plateau in the middle of Longzhong and the Gannan plateau. The results of this study are a useful support in protection of traditional villages in provincial scale. It helps to enhance the integrity and systematicness of the protection of the spatial distribution of traditionally villages. The Chinese government had put forward the “Poverty alleviation strategy” to help Gansu Province to get out of the villages’ trouble. Viewed from this angle, the research for effective patterns of traditional villages’ protection and exploitation plays a crucial role in the development of China’s “Poverty Alleviation Strategy”.

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