GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (3): 578-594.doi: 10.11821/dlyj020180880

• Planning and methods of rural revitalization • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research progress of urban-rural relations and its implications for rural revitalization

Yingnan ZHANG1,2(), Hualou LONG1,3(), Li MA1,2, Shuangshuang TU1,4, Kunqiu CHEN1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling,Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    4. Key Laboratory of Environment Change and Resources Use in Beibu Gulf, Nanning Normal University, the Ministry of Education, Nanning 530001, China
  • Received:2018-08-28 Revised:2019-02-18 Online:2019-03-20 Published:2019-03-25


With the implementation of rural vitalization strategy, China has stepped into a critical period with the dramatic changes of urban-rural relations and the accelerating transformation development of rural territorial system. Scientifically understanding the research progress of urban-rural relation theory and evolution rule is of great significance for boosting rural vitalization, narrowing urban-rural disparity, adjusting urban-rural structure and optimizing urban-rural patterns. This paper elaborates the research progress of urban-rural relations and rural development in China from the dimensions of economy, society, ecology and culture based on the review of foreign urban-rural relations and the characteristics of domestic rural development, as well as the evolution of urban-rural relation. Furthermore, prospect of research focus or key fields in the future were given. Firstly, transforming the development idea from productivism oriented to post-productivism oriented and attaching importance to the multiple values of rural areas should be emphasized. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out intensive studies about the mechanism, regional path selection and development mode of rural vitalization based on the theory of rural multiple function transition. Understanding the relationship of different functions is essential for dealing with rural decline and realizing the comprehensive vitalization. Meanwhile, we should focus on the mechanism and format of rural vitalization based on different territorial types. Against the context of rural-urban integrated development, we should promote the supply-side reform and activate the forces of socio-economic growth in underdeveloped areas. As for the developed rural areas, the “hybridity” should be emphasized and further studies should be conducted. In some rural areas, the phenomenon of the hybridity of development agents, the combination of production space and living space, the mixture of rurality and modernism have emerged. Accordingly, more emphasis should be placed on the heterogeneity and diversity in the process of rural restructuring. Secondly, with the emergence of new factors or new technologies, we should focus on the new morphology of rural development, such as characteristic towns, rural complex and “Taobao village”. In recent years, China's rural areas have undergone intensive restructuring motivated by e-commerce, which has triggered a new wave of rural rejuvenation. But how e-commerce affects rural development and the characteristics of this process are still unclear, and this is important for understanding the urban-rural relations under the context of informatization. Thirdly, the mechanism and format of urban-rural spatial restructuring should be emphasized. From the perspective of urban-rural interaction, the theory of urban-rural network may be practical and meaningful for optimizing the spatial distribution of infrastructure construction and industrial development. Lastly, creating or improving the theory and improving the path of rural vitalization according to the national conditions are meaningful for realizing the strategy.

Key words: urban-rural relations, rural vitalization, research progress, implications