Since the founding of new China in 1949, rural development in China has experienced three periods, which have been first the collective economy, second the household contract responsibility system, and third the chronological coordination of the urban and rural. Meanwhile, there are three types of statutory planning that guide rural construction and management in China, i.e., land use planning, land consolidation planning, and village and town planning.
There are many types of planning relevant to rural areas inChina. Based on the parallel relationship of rural and township areas andadministrative perspective, statutory planning that guides the construction andmanagement of rural areas are: township-level land use planning, county-levelland consolidation planning, township planning, and village planning (orvillage and town planning①). Since the founding of new China, thechanging path of rural planning② is closelyrelated to the transformation of the country's political and economicenvironment, as well as synchronously presenting features of times anddistinctive Chinese characteristics (see Figure 1).
Figure 1 Development of land use planning,land consolidation planning, and village and town planning
1. The evolution of rural planning showed that the protection and utilization of landis the core issue
In the collective economy period, the starting point of ruralplanning was the development of land resources. Land use planning was just startedduring this period, meanwhile, the land consolidation planning and villageplanning were carried out affiliated to land use planning. The core of planningwas “to serve livelihood and production,” which means to use all availableresources to tap the potential of land production, and promote the scalizationand modernization of agricultural production(see Figure 2).
Figure 2 Relationship among land use planning,land consolidation planning, and village and town planning in the period ofcollective economy
In the household contract responsibility system period, ruralplanning requires more and more strict land protection measures, and graduallyevolved into the combination of land protection and land development. Its tasksinclude not only the distribution of space resources, but also more attentionto the protection of farmland, especially the stability of the amount offarmland. During this period, the three types of planning made greatprogress both in theory and in practice. Specifically, land use planning wasupgraded into the basis of national land use control, land consolidationplanning had become a special planning for land use planning. The core idea ofthese two can be summarized as "to protect and to control." villageand town planning directed the development and construction of rural areas, andthe core idea can be summarized as “to develop and to construct.” These threeinteract and interdepend on one another (see Figure 3).
Figure 3 Relationship between land useplanning, land consolidation planning, and village planning in the period ofhousehold contract responsibility system
In the urban and rural coordination development period, thethree types of planning showed the trend of urban and rural interconnection andintegration, but the weight of farmland protection has not decreased. Theoverall idea of rural planning can be summarized as "to coordinate and tobe fair." Among them, land use planning emphasizes the integratedmanagement and regulation of urban and rural land use. Its core task is tostrictly control land use, effectively protect cultivated land. The landconsolidation plan comprehensively controlled urban and rural construction landby means of linking the increase in land used for urban construction with thedecrease in land used for rural construction, to tap the potential of ruralconstruction land without affecting the quantity and quality standards ofagricultural land. Township planning and village planning replaced the originalvillage and town planning and become the main mechanism for planning,construction, and management of rural areas, which functions in line with urbanplanning and these two constitute China's urban and rural planning systemtogether (see Figure 4).
Figure 4 Comparison of land use planning, landconsolidation planning, and urban and rural planning in the period of urban andrural coordinated development
2. Ruralplanning evolving from directive to legislation and from separation tointegration
In the collective economy period, land use planning, as the coreof rural planning, its practice was based on summarizing land planningexperience of agricultural producer cooperatives and people's communes. Landconsolidation had not been decoupled from land use planning and had no independenttheoretical system. As for village and town construction, especially ruralhousing construction, it was mostly spontaneous in the early stage, thenfollowing the production plan by soliciting permission of the production teamand the people's commune in the later period. At this time, the focus of ruralplanning had always been put on reforming the mode of small-scale production,improving production efficiency, realizing agricultural mechanization andscalization, which showed strong planned economy feature in the actualimplementation.
All three types of statutory planning were largely improved interms of the management system in the period of household contractresponsibility system. Taking land use planning as an example, a planningsystem consisting of an overall land use planning, detailed planning, andspecial planning was formed. It had completed the establishment of three-levelplanning and regulation system consisting of departmental rules, administrativeregulations, and laws. The system included the instructions issued by theMinistry of Agriculture to direct specific work in the collective economyperiod, the regulations and notices formulated by departments and committees ofthe State Council, documents issued by the State Council, and nationallegislation. Planning management was thus transformed from separated managementto centralized and unified management, from a single administrative managementto a comprehensive management that combines administrative, legal, economic,and technological measures.
In the urban and rural coordination period, three types ofplanning have all been devoted to resolve rural issues of “sannong”(agriculture, rural areas and farmers) and “sansheng” (production, living, andecology). They have been moving towards a “multi-plan integration” track withChinese characteristics becoming increasingly prominent. Planning integrationduring this period is mainly reflected in two perspectives: first, urban andrural integration, i.e., various types of planning taking overall control ofurban and rural construction and management; second, multi-plan integration,represented by various plans starting to link with each other in guidingideology, planning concept, and implementation method. For example, the focusof land use planning transferred from simply overall control of urban and ruralland to policy-based and codified management of urban and rural land, and moreemphasized on the improvement of relevant systems such as land management, lawenforcement of land, and land supervision. It put forward construction landzoning regulation by taking reference on major functional zoning plan and urbanplanning.
Based on the review of the development of rural planning sincethe founding of new China, we can find that land use planning, landconsolidation planning, and village and town planning, have graduallyestablished their planning compilation, regulation, and management system. Thispresents a development track from directive plan towards standardization andlegislation, from separation of each plan to mutual integration, as well asembodying Chinese characteristics (see Figure 5).
Figure 5 Development of rural planning fromdirective to legislation, from separation to integration
① Village and town planningoriginated in the Village and Town Planning Principles in 1982, whiletownship planning and village planning started from the promulgation of theUrban and Rural Planning Law in 2008, which replaced the original villageand town planning.
② Rural planning in thispaper refers to the spatial planning related to rural areas, which is arelatively broad concept, neither limited to the system differentiation of landuse planning and urban and rural planning, nor involved with in-depthdiscussion of specific planning concept and content.
Zhang Yuanyuan, PhD Candidate, School of Urban Design,Wuhan University, Wuhan, P. R. China.
Huang Jingnan (corresponding author), Associate Professor,School of Urban Design, Wuhan University, Wuhan, P. R. China. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Wang Guo’en, Professor, Doctoral Supervisor, School of UrbanDesign, Wuhan University, Wuhan, P. R. China.