A study of Chinese traditional Duotian settlement combining morphological analysis

Yang, Jiao and Lu, Andong; (2022) A study of Chinese traditional Duotian settlement combining morphological analysis. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 1646-1653. ISBN 9781914241161

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The Lixiahe Region is a low-lying wetland that used to suffer from frequent floods due to a complex historical hydrological environment. This region is situated between the Huaiyang Section of the Grand Canal and the Yellow Sea. Islands of arable higher lands were formed by digging small rivers and deep ditches in the marsh by accumulating mud. Therefore, the method called Duotian became the land utilisation method against floods and can be traced back to over 600 years ago. Tens of thousands of islands (for production or living) in various forms, water systems, and wetland form a Duotian settlement and typical landscape in Lixiahe Region. As an ecological-social system, Duotian first supports stereoagriculture through the combination of islands of geometrical shapes and height, which adapt to the special water environment and the production organisation. Second, Duotian also alters the water network's direction, depth, and density, thus providing corresponding supplements of natural substances, watering convenience, and transportation. In this paper, Duotian is regarded as the product of the co-existence of humans and water. It is expected that the research method in morphology will help reveal the control mechanism of the supporting environmental adaptability of Duotian. First, based on a field survey of Duotian and data collection, the operation mechanism of the Duotian settlement system has been described. Then, with selected typical samples and the method of Conzen School, the morphological elements of the Duotian plan were subsequently analysed. This morphological study of Duotian helps with a more comprehensive interpretation of the morphological mechanism of built environment in the Lixiahe Region and the establishment of holistic cognition of sustainable development in the complex waterfront human settlement environment.