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Telecoupled Sustainable Livelihoods in an Era of Rural–Urban Dynamics: The Case of China

Wenjia Peng (), Brian E. Robinson (), Hua Zheng (), Cong Li (), Fengchun Wang () and Ruonan Li ()
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Wenjia Peng: State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
Brian E. Robinson: Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 0B9, Canada
Hua Zheng: State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
Cong Li: School of Economics and Finance, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710061, China
Fengchun Wang: Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Hebei University of Water Resources and Electric Engineering, Cangzhou 061001, China
Ruonan Li: University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 9, 1-17

Abstract: Recently, increasingly sophisticated studies have investigated the relationship between agrarian livelihoods and the environment, as well as rural–urban interactions in developing countries. The policies developed to respond to these dynamics can constrain livelihood options or provide additional opportunities. In the present study, using a modified version of the telecoupled sustainable livelihood framework to generalize dynamic livelihood strategies in the context of rural–urban transformation and by focusing on recent research in China, we review important factors that shape rural livelihood strategies as well as the types of strategies that typically intersect with livelihood and environmental dynamics. We then examine telecoupled rural–urban linkages given that the dynamics of the livelihood strategies of farmers can cause flows of labor, capital, ecosystem services, and other processes between rural and urban areas, thereby placing livelihood strategies in a dynamic context, which has not been considered widely in previous research. We show that most previous studies focused on the reduction of environmental impacts via livelihood diversification and rural–urban migration. We propose several areas for future policy development and research.

Keywords: dynamic livelihood strategy; telecoupling; ecological effect; ecosystem service; rural household livelihood; rural–urban linkage; sustainable livelihood (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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