A study of land reclamation and ecological restoration in a resource-exhausted city – a case study of Huaibei in China

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  • This article was downloaded by: [McGill University Library]On: 01 October 2013, At: 00:21Publisher: Taylor & FrancisInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

    International Journal of Mining,Reclamation and EnvironmentPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/nsme20

    A study of land reclamation andecological restoration in a resource-exhausted city a case study of Huaibeiin ChinaWu Xiao a , Zhenqi Hu a , Jing Li a , Heyu Zhang a & Jialiang Hu aa Institute of Land Reclamation and Ecological Restoration, ChinaUniversity of Mining & Technology (Beijing), Beijing, 100083,ChinaPublished online: 20 Sep 2011.

    To cite this article: Wu Xiao , Zhenqi Hu , Jing Li , Heyu Zhang & Jialiang Hu (2011) A study ofland reclamation and ecological restoration in a resource-exhausted city a case study of Huaibeiin China, International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment, 25:4, 332-341, DOI:10.1080/17480930.2011.608888

    To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17480930.2011.608888

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  • A study of land reclamation and ecological restoration in a resource-exhausted city a case study of Huaibei in China

    Wu Xiao, Zhenqi Hu*, Jing Li, Heyu Zhang and Jialiang Hu

    Institute of Land Reclamation and Ecological Restoration, China University of Mining &Technology (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China

    (Received 1 March 2011; nal version received 10 August 2011)

    Eco-city construction is a powerful method which can advance a city fromtraditional industrial civilisation to ecological civilisation. The city of Huaibei,with 50 years of coal mining history, has been listed as a national resource-exhausted city. The citys sustainable development and ecological restorationwork face severe challenges. This study presents a time-space evolution analysis ofmining subsidence to show the evolution and the distribution of the subsidencearea in Huaibei. Intensive use was made of land evaluation to formulate land usemeasures. According to this analysis, and based on the popular eco-reconstruc-tion movement, suggestions for land reclamation and eco-reconstruction areproposed for the city of Huaibei. The paper aims to make strategicrecommendations to help Huaibei city transform from a resource-exhaustedcity to an eco-city.

    Keywords: resource-exhausted city; ecological restoration; Huaibei city

    1. Introduction

    Resource-based cities are developed or constructed around resource development.Following the depletion of resources and transformation of the economic system,resource-based cities gradually have to face multiple pressures, e.g. large population,shortage of resources and a damaged environment. According to statistics, Chinahas 118 resource-based cities, more than 30 of which are facing resource depletionproblems. Out of about 8000 mines in existence more than 400 are now in depletion,2/3 of which have entered old age so their depletion process is accelerating.Resource-exhausting mines in China are facing the challenge of ecologicalrestoration. The key problem of resource-exhausting mines is the serious damagethey create to the environment: air pollution, acidication of water bodies, decline ofsoil quality, loss of biodiversity, destruction of natural landscapes, etc. The pollutionfrom closed mines and geological disasters in the mining legacy will continue tomake a serious impact on the surrounding environment. Accordingly, ecologicalrestoration and environmental improvement of resource-exhausting mines havebecome important factors for achieving a smooth economic transition; manyscholars have made studies of the transformation of resource-exhausted cities [13].

    *Corresponding author. Email: huzq@cumtb.edu.cn

    International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment

    Vol. 25, No. 4, December 2011, 332341

    ISSN 1748-0930 print/ISSN 1748-0949 online

    2011 Taylor & Francishttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17480930.2011.608888

    http://www.tandfonline.com

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  • The 10th ve-year programme of China for national economic and socialdevelopment highlighted active and steady closure of resource-exhausting mines,promoting ongoing industry, and replacement industries in cities and large minesbased on exploitation of resources according to local conditions, and studying newmodels for mining exploitation. Meanwhile, resource-exhausting cities continue toattract major central government investment during the 11th ve-year plan.Meanwhile, coal mining subsidence control and eco-environmental protection andrestoration will be priority areas for public funding [4]. In addition, promotion ofbrown eld reclamation will be an important measure for achieving landconservation [5].

    Huaibei City, which is listed as one of the second batch of national resource-exhausting pilot cities, has more than 50 years of coal mining history. Since 1958, whenthe rst mine was opened, the city has produced 66108 t coal, which has made animportant contribution to the economic and social development of China. However,because of the numerous thick coal seams and the long wall caving mining method, alarge area of ground subsidence was caused. By 2018, the subsidence area will be up toabout 20,000 hm2. Huaibei City put forward a development strategy to create an eco-city in 2008. The strategy indicates how to produce good ecological, social and economicbenets by maximising the re-development and utilisation of the subsidence area. Thestrategy takes into account the local natural conditions and resources and aims to fullthe needs of sustainable development of the mine as an imminent, urgent problem.

    2. Eco-reconstruction of resource-exhausting cities in China

    2.1. Rural eco-agriculture

    Chinas resource-exhausting cities are located in a range of geographical sites.Therefore, there are dierent eco-types, e.g. mountain, plain farming and grasslandeco-patterns, dierent ecological zones with dierent conditions leading to dierentecological modes. For example, the pattern for plain farming and pastoral areas isfruitvegetablespeaspoultryinsectsgrass, or milk cowsforestgrassinsectsed-ible fungibiogas, etc. The basic model of eco-agriculture is integration, coordina-tion, circulation (benign), and regeneration [6].

    2.2. Wetland parks and suburban parks

    Comprehensive treatment of large mining-damaged areas outside the city couldprovide a broad ecological hinterland for the city and change black gold into agreen lung. Water systems in mining areas connect with the winding river and therippling blue water surface. The water system, the green belt and other ecologicallands are turned into urban country parkland, wetlands or mine parks, and form apart of the urban development space [6,7]. The landscape can be divided intodierent levels with dierent signicance, to form a mixed, organic landscape axis.

    2.3. Mine parks

    Twenty-eight national mine park units, e.g. Huang Song-yu in Beijing, which passedthrough the National Mine Park Mine Leading Group Qualications in early 2006,indicate that Chinese mine park development has entered a substantive stage ofoperation. The mine parks mostly display the process of mine development, coal

    International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment 333

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  • geology, exploration, the research history and the geology history of the miningregion, the history of formation and evolution of the coal, and the central position ofcoal development in the national economy. The coal mine exhibition hall, withpictures, texts, models, video and multimedia forms of information, introducesvisitors to the impact of mineral development on the local ecological environmentand the results of environmental recovery and management [8].

    3. Time-space evolution analysis of mining subsidence in Huaibei

    3.1. Subsidence status of the city of Huaibei

    There are seven state-owned mines and more than 10 local small mines i

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