Modes and mechanisms of land consolidation in promoting rural vitalisation at the village level from a multifunctional perspective — Taking two Chinese villages as case areas

  • Yanfeng Jiang

Student thesis: PhD Thesis


Researchers in rural studies and policymakers have taken interest in relieving and resolving rural issues by balancing the supply-demand of and for rural land use functions (RLUFs). As a multifunctional toolkit for this purpose, rural land consolidation (RLC) has been practised in many places to adjust the supply of RLUFs. However, few studies have analysed the relationship between RLC and rural development and how to formulate a RLC scheme at the micro level from a multifunctional perspective. Given the relatively successful outcomes of Eastern China in RLC, this study set to analyse the RLC in eastern China from a multifunctional perspective. The aim is to advance the understanding on the relationship between RLC and village development to serve as a reference point to advance RLC planning at the village level.

This study first constructs a theoretical model combining qualitative and quantitative aspects. To verify and calibrate this model, it is applied to two typical villages as case studies. These two villages were both directly affected by RLC between 2010 and 2020. One village, Jinzhuang, is far from two nearby major cities; the other, Dongheng, is close to two nearby major cities. Using this theoretical model, this study systematically analysed the spatial restructuring processes of these two villages, as well as comparing and contrasting their modes and mechanisms of RLC in promoting local vitalisation.

The qualitative part of the analyses indicates the implementation of RLC has rearranged land use structures to achieve villages’ spatial restructuring that facilitates the industrial transformation of these two villages. The results of quantitative analysis showed RLC has promoted the overall development of vitalisation index values of these two villages with varied effects in aspects evaluated. Moreover, in the supply-demand analysis, both villages showed the strongest demand for economic benefits, and the gap between the RLUFs supply-demand was most evident in their production functions. These analytical results become the base for the customised land use strategies proposed in this study for facilitating the development of these two villages.

The case studies also revealed the underlying mechanisms of the success and not-so-satisfactory outcomes of RLC in the two villages. In particular, the positive effect of RLC on Dongheng’s vitalisation cannot be achieved without policy support, solid industrial foundation, superior resource endowment, and local elites’ efforts; while in the Jinzhuang, policy support and the efforts from local elites produced positive yet not as successful results as the geographical location, and market demand may have shaped the direction of the development. By comparing the two cases, it is found accessibility to major cities may have a significant impact on RLC strategies, at least in plain areas.

Overall, the theoretical model constructed from a multifunctional perspective depicting the relationship between RLC and village development for the two selected cases. In this way, the theory and practises of applying RLC to improve villages’ sustainability are integrated in this study; from which, insight can be derived for bettering rural vitalisation.
Date of AwardMar 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Nottingham
SupervisorYu-Ting Tang (Supervisor), Hualou Long (Supervisor), Wu Deng (Supervisor) & Christopher D. Ives (Supervisor)


  • land consolidation
  • land use structure
  • multifunctionality
  • effectiveness
  • supply-demand
  • mechanism of village vitalisation
  • China

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