- Coordinating Strategy of Preserving the Local Identity during the Rapid Urbanization in China: Case Study of Three Towns in the South of Kunshan   click here to open paper content612 kb
by    Yang, Zhi & Hu , Haibo & Wang, Haiyong | seu2008@126.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This paper is aimed at exploring how to preserve the local identity as well
as achieve the economic development during rapid urbanization. By the
method of comparative analysis and evaluation, the coordinating strategy in
historical conservation redevelopment, integrating space and policymaking
has been proved to be effective.
Kunshan, the top level of comprehensive strength among Chinese counties, is
undergoing tremendous changes in economic development and urbanization. In
the south of Kunshan, there are three national historic towns (Zhouzhuang,
Jinxi and Qiandeng) in the range of less than 300 square kilometers, which
is very rarely in china. Although Kunshan is noted for its rapid economic
growth, the three towns develop slower than the others because of more
strict environmental constraints and historic preservation.

Despite of the background that many regions have lost the identity during
the rapid urbanization in china, the three towns should take the road of
characteristic development which depends on the basis of exclusive local
culture and ecological resource instead of massive manufacturing industry.

This paper is aimed at finding out that how to preserve the local identity
as well as achieve the economic development during the rapid urbanization.

Firstly, the method of comparative analysis and evaluation is designed to
value what is worthy of preservation. Cultural features are protected by
the collaboration of three towns. At the same time, every town is
encouraged to shape its own identity, not only in the aspect of physical
space but also in the aspect of intangible cultural heritage.

Secondly, synthesizing agriculture, handicraft and tourism, instead of
manufacturing industry, helps to contribute a sustainable society. As a
catalyst for agriculture and service sector development, tourism also plays
an important role in the aspects of culture redevelopment and increasing
people's income.

Thirdly, coordinating the old towns and new towns on the basis of watery
fundament formulates the local morphology in order to balance the ecology,
development and society. Tourism system is shaped by the means of
integrating many kinds of traditional watery villages with transport.

Last, policymaking in the range of whole county helps to bridge the gap of
economic development among the three towns and the others. Ecological and
cultural subsidies help the three towns to preserve the local identity.
Training policy is helpful to the farmers and foreign workers. Moreover, a
coordinating agency is put on the agenda.

All in all, the coordinating strategy in the aspects of historical
conservation, industrial development, integrating space and policymaking is
very useful to the three towns which aim at characteristic development.
Furthermore, the coordinating strategy has a great deal of significance on
the future development of the similar regions which are full of cultural
and ecological resources in order to preserve the local identity during the
rapid urbanization.
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