Honglin Xiao presents and chairs session for meeting of the Association of American Geographers

Associate professor of geography Honglin Xiao presented his research, "Land use land cover changes under a market economy," at the 2011 annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers at Seattle, Wash.

In the paper, he used an integrated approach of remote sensing and GIS to quantify and analyze the magnitude, pattern, spatial extent and nature of land use land cover during the study period.

Recent marketization and globalization have combined to bring a rapid economic growth in contemporary China. To keep pace with this economic climate, finding ways to get richer has become everybody’s first propriety. The rush to enhance everyday life has been matched by the massive transformation of China’s physical environment, as cities, towns and even villages have involved themselves in various kinds of economic activities at unprecedented speed.

Over the past 20 years or so, the landscape at most places has been changed dramatically to make way for the apartment blocks, shopping centers, highways, and office towers. Meanwhile, farmers changed turned their traditional crop lands into vegetable, fruit and tea lands in order to get higher returns.

Xiao’s study tried to examine such changes in Guizhou Province, China from 1991 to 2007, when accelerated industrialization and urbanization occurred. He then examined the social, economical, and political impacts brought forth by those changes.

He also chaired the session “Urbanization, Environmental Change, and Sustainability.”