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Confucius Temple, heritage block in Nanjing,

It is widely got to a common view that heritage is very important for human and city. A very simple point is that modern cities like more similar if they do not have their own history. (Rodwell, 2007) And they would lost interest to public. As an urban design student, I really like to travel to cities with historic interests. Cities with well protected history building or places give me a sense of respect to eternity and human history. And living in these cities would give residents more time to review the history and redevelop their city to a balanced state.

The Rebecca Taylor’s post introduce the importance of heritage conservation and the relationship with urban design. And a successful case study in Edinburgh, a very beautiful city which is consist of old and new towns. The case study convert a bus station to a leisure and retail space, which add more vitality to this area and reuse the old buildings successfully.

Actually this kind of urban design is very popular in the world-wide. Not only in European countries but also in Asian countries like China, a large country with a long history.(Fan, 2014) About more than half of all cities in china have their own heritages. Instead of modern architecture explosion in 1990’s and 2000’s, the government pay more attention to heritage at present. Although some of the developers start to develop heritage because they realize the tourism opportunity of these heritages, it is a good start for conservation of heritage.

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Laomendong, Nanjing, historic leisure block

Like Nanjing, the city where I have my undergraduate course. The city history is from Chu dynasty at about 571B.C. and Nanjing was the capital for 6 dynasties till the Republic of China time. So there are lots of heritage assets in this city, and recent years the government try to protect these assets well. Instead of stupid demolition of traditional, historical Chinese residence and blocks, they try to repair scruffy residential blocks and add new function to them. A repaired traditional residence block could have more function like retail some traditional foods, snakes and clothes, traditional teahouse and restaurant. So it could be a new mixed use leisure area in traditional style, which provides more attraction and opportunity for tourism.

This case shows a way of heritage conservation that repairing rundown traditional blocks and adding new function. It not only conserve the heritages but also consider the development of the area. Tourism is a good chance of historic area’s development, it consider both conservation and its redevelopment of a historic city.

reference:
Fan, L. (2014) ‘International influence and local response: understanding community involvement in urban heritage conservation in China’, International Journal Of Heritage Studies, 20(6), pp.651-662. doi: 10.1080/13527258.2013.834837

Orbasli, A. (2000) Tourists in historic towns: urban conservation and heritage management, New York: E&FN Spon

Rodwell, D. (2007) Conservation and sustainability in historic cities. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publ.