Xu Yan - Visiting Scholar in Rural Design

submitted by Xu Yan


I'm so glad that I have the opportunity to study in CRD. I'd like to introduce my experiences and some research that I have done in China.

I earned a Bachelor's degree in Soil and Plant Nutrition, a Master's of Land Resource Management, and a PhD of Soil Science at China Agricultural University. Since graduate school studies, my academic research has been focused on land use and evaluation, especially land consolidation and engineering design.

Modern land consolidation emerged in 1998 in China. China's government put massive manpower, material and financial resources into the effort. The aim is to increase crop yield to guarantee the food security by originally employing two essential methods. The first is to protect the quantity of farmland by promoting land use intensity. The other is to improve farmland quality by building farmland infrastructure. With more than ten years of program development, the land consolidation program has produced multiple objectives: a significant reduction in land fragmentation, the realization of large-scale production, adjusting property boundaries, environmental protection, etc.

The area of a typical land consolidation project is usually more than 700 hectares and contains farmland infrastructure including irrigation, drainage and road improvements, woodland replanting, soil and water conservation engineering, and ruined land restoration. I have been engaged in two rural land consolidation projects in the last three years.

a map showing an example of the outcome of a land consolidation project

The above map is an example of the outcome of a land consolidation project. Below are a few of images showing the type of improvements to landscape components allowable through land consolidation.

images showing the type of improvements to landscape components allowable through land consolidation

When I came to the University of Minnesota and CRD, everything, the beautiful environment, the life attitude and life style, and especially the landscape design were all different to me. I'd like to learn the different concepts and methods of landscape design from CRD and practise them in future land consolidation design projects.