A Review of the Chinese Government Support and Sustainability Assessment for Ecovillage Development with a Global Perspective

Xihong Gao, Fan Wang*, Chenxi Liu, Tao Luo, Yukun Zhang, Camillo Nuti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
77 Downloads (Pure)


Having achieved substantial progress in urban development over the past three decades, the Chinese government has turned to ecovillage development as one of the more effective ways to solve increasingly serious rural issues, such as poverty, rural hollowing, a deteriorating natural environment, and farmland abandonment. However, in spite of various promotional policies and substantial financial investment, there are very few studies assessing the impact of governmental support on ecovillage development. This paper presents a study applying both qualitative research and quantitative analysis to compare the effects of the support, especially in funding and policies, on their development. A comparison was made of three cases, one in China and two elsewhere. To provide a common basis for comparison, three quantification-based assessments were examined with a view to applying them in this study. These were the Evaluation for Construction of Beautiful Village (ECBV) from China, and the BREEAM Community and LEED-ND, two well-established international examples. The following analyses using the three methods reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the Chinese government support in ecovillage development, and limitations of the quantification-based assessment methods. Proposals are made for improving the nature of government support and the use of the ECBV. These research outcomes can help formulate the rural development policies in the critical time of socio-economic transition in China, and the research process could be a reference to review quantification-based assessment methods in other developing countries with similar levels of development

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-73
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Review for Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2022


  • Ecovillage
  • Ecovillage assessment
  • Government support
  • Rural development
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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