Enhancing Rural-Urban Linkages Through the Historic Urban Landscape Approach: The Case of Shuang Wan Cun in the Jiangsu Province
- 288 Downloads
Shuang Wan Cun is a peri-urban village located in the Wujiang District of Suzhou, in China. During 2015–2016, the village experimented with the implementation of the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) recommendation, being assisted in this process by the Research Institute of Urbanisation of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. It was one of the pilot projects to implement the ‘Shanghai Agenda for HUL in China’ at WHITRAP (2015). Among those, it is one of the few cases of HUL application in China dealing with the challenges of an ordinary rural village affected by problems ascribable to the massive urbanization process. This case is particularly relevant because of the strong local political willingness to study alternative development strategies more considerate of local historic structures and to implement civic engagement tools with the local community. This has proven to be an engine for real transformation, and some tangible results have been achieved.
The main aim of this chapter is to report on the process and the outcomes of this experiment, in the context of Suzhou, and focus on the enabling conditions for making implementation of HUL possible. The favourable context of a long-lasting history of urban conservation in Suzhou, as described in the paper, has been a fertile terrain to experiment new soft tools of conservation. While there are still some limits in its application, HUL has proven to be successful in reframing development priorities in more sustainable terms, reconnecting a locality to the opportunities of its surrounding urban context, which has been for years considered a source of negative impacts.
KeywordsRural-urban linkages Rural regeneration Small settlements Civic engagement China
A preliminary version of part 2 of this chapter ‘Suzhou and its Region: Historical Overview’ has been published in Italian (Verdini and Huang 2017).
- Dong, J. (2004). Zhong Guo Cheng Shi Jian She Shi [The history of city construction in China]. Beijing: China Architecture & Building Press.Google Scholar
- Fei, H.-T. (1939). Peasant life in China. London: G. Routledge.Google Scholar
- Friedmann, J. (2005). China’s urban transition. Minneapolis/London: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
- He, Y. (2007). Zhong Guo Chuan Tong Gong Shang Ye Cheng Shi Zai Jin Dai De Shuai Luo—Yi Suzhou, Hangzhou, Yangzhou Wei Li. [The decay of the traditional merchant cities in China during the late 19th century and early 20th century—the case of Suzhou, Hangzhou and Yangzhou.]. Journal of the Southwest University for Nationalities, 28(4), 1–11.Google Scholar
- Marme’, M. (2005). Suzhou. Where the goods of all provinces converge. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- Ren, C., & Yao, W. (2000). Guan Yu Qian Cun Bing Dian Zheng Ce De Fen Xi [Analysis on the policy of ‘Relocation and Centralisation of Villages’]. Urban Problems, 2000(6), 45–49.Google Scholar
- Suzhou Planning Bureau (SPB). (2016). Suzhou city master plan 2011–2020. http://www.szghj.gov.cn/szghj/ghcg/002001/. Accessed 17 May 2017.
- Suzhou Statistical Bureau (SSB). (2016). Suzhou statistical yearbook (p. 2016). Beijing: China Statistics Press.Google Scholar
- UNESCO (Ed.). (2016). Global report on culture for sustainable urban development. Culture urban future. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
- UNESCO. (1997). Inscription: The classical gardens of Suzhou (China). Decision: CONF 208 VIII.C. Paris: UNESCO. http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/2872. Accessed 20 Dec 2017.
- Verdini, G. (2016a). Culture as a tool for harmonious territorial development. In UNESCO (Ed.), Global report on culture for sustainable urban development. Culture urban future (pp. 212–219). Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
- Verdini, G., Wang, Y., & Xiaonan, Z. (Eds.). (2016). Urban China’s rural fringe: Actors, dimensions and management challenges. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Verdini, G., & Huang F. (2017), La maniera di Suzhou: Innovazione urbana e continuita’ urbano-rurale, Urbanistica Informazioni, 272. Available online at: http://www.urbanisticainformazioni.it/Suzhou.html
- Wang, D. (2005). Zhong Guo Cheng Shi Gui Hua Shi Gang [The History of Urban Planning in China]. Nanjing: Southeast University Press.Google Scholar
- Xu, Y. (2000). The Chinese city in space and time. The development of urban form in Suzhou. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.Google Scholar