- Land Conservation and urban Farmers Livelihoods. A Critical Pair in an Urban Strategy in Gyantse, Tibet Autonomous Region, P.R. of China    click here to open paper content478 kb
by    Tsering, Dawa & Bjoenness, Hans Christie & Hongwei, Guo | hbjoenness@yahoo.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Arable land resources in Tibet are scarce and there is no urban land conservation policy. An urban strategic project will link arable land conservation to livelihood improvements of urban farmers and cultural continuity in Gyantse, South Tibet.
Settling in the traditionally nomadic Tibet was mainly a result of competition in access to scarce arable land resources and the need for defense. During the last fourty years new agricultural irrigated land have been developed in Tibet Autonomous Region. However, arable land is a strictly limited resource in TAR as in overall China. The arable land / population ratio is decreasing affecting livelihood conditions of the farmers. This calls for precaution in expansion of towns on arable land and improved efficiency in use of existing urban land.

Gyantse in Southern TAR is a significant traditional and modern town. We have deconstructed the town, its surrounding land-uses, its different settlement patterns and building traditions. The traditional urban villages were located at non irrigable land. They are still mainly inhabited by urban farmers. The new residential parts of the town have been extended in the traditional pattern of high density - low rise mainly on not irrigated land.
The modern market town of Gyantse is located on the plain area consuming previous arable land. The road layout is extensive with an open grid plan.

An urban strategic project is introduced where arable land conservation is linked to livelihood improvements of urban farmers and cultural continuity. Territorial relations and female headed households livelihoods are targeted.
The master plan (1996) for Gyantse will be revised. The authors recommend growth boundaries for land conservation and cultural landscape protection, market town densification and livelihood improvement measures.
arable land conservation, livelihood of urban farmers, Tibet Autonomous Region, China
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