FALL 2018 First Geography Colloquium – Dr. Gregory Veeck, who is researching
The Transformation of Urban Agriculture in China: A Case Study of Nanjing
Geography Building, Room 126 – 09/21/2018, 2:00 -3:00 p.m.
Nanjing, the capital of prosperous Jiangsu Province of China, has grown rapidly during the post-reform era (1979-present). Generally this growth has been better planned than that in most Chinese cities. Still, the pace of change –greatly accelerated after 2000, has put tremendous pressure on the expanding city’s land resources. This case study of land use/land cover change in Nanjing’s Jiangning district covering 23.7% of land under the city’s jurisdiction focuses on changes in agricultural land and labor within the ten 2016-era jiedao (sub-district political units) for the period from 2000 to 2015. This case study provides an excellent opportunity to test an interesting component of the Ginsburg-McGee desakota hypothesis that predicts that Asian extended metropolis regions, unlike similar large cities in Western nations, will consistently maintain agricultural land and labor stocks within metropolitan boundaries over time. The study is based on interviews and “training points” and archival data collected during two site visits in July of 2017 and May of 2018. These data are joined to time-series land cover/land use (LC/LU) analyses made possible through a GIS combining vector-format annual agricultural and agro-economic data with additional raster LU/LC data layers derived from satellite imagery including Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM). The statistical unit of analysis are the 10 jiedao (sub-county units) that compose Jiangning District. Results indicate Jiangning continues to maintain a high, if decreasing, proportion of agricultural land and employment. Two reasons are posited for this stability: changing consumer preference and “green” land use policies enacted by the Nanjing government. Firstly, consumer concerns related to what Beck refers to as the “Risk Society” have dramatically increased demand for local and/or organic produce, which in turn has increased net returns per unit area for farmed land. Secondly, after significant decreases for all ten jiedao from 2000 to 2010, conservation policies mandated by local governments appear to have helped stabilize arable land losses from 2010 to 2015. However, as predicted by several classic geographic land use models, those jiedao in closest proximity to Nanjing’s central business districts lost arable land at greater rates than those in the periphery of the district. To close, OLS linear multiple regression analyses identify those factors that are the most effective predictors of arable land as a proportion of total land in each jiedao over this period.