Country for PR: China
Contributor: Xinhua News Agency
Tuesday, July 14 2020 - 17:05
China's Hangzhou Sees Urban Development Coordinated with World Heritage Protection
HANGZHOU, China, July 14, 2020 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/--

On July 6, eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou launched the "Hangzhou Liangzhu 
Day" and the first Hangzhou Liangzhu Culture Week, which is also the exclusive 
festival for the "youngest" (latest selected) of Hangzhou's three world 
heritages, according to Hangzhou municipal government.

At the 43rd World Heritage Conference held one year ago in Baku, capital of 
Azerbaijan, the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City was included in the World 
Heritage List. Hangzhou has decided to set July 6 as "Hangzhou Liangzhu Day" 
and June 24 as "Hangzhou West Lake Day". These two days are the dates when the 
two renowned sites in Hangzhou were officially included in the World Heritage 

From the West Lake to the Grand Canal and then to the Archaeological Ruins of 
Liangzhu City, Hangzhou already has three world cultural heritages, indicating 
that Hangzhou is an ancient city with different cultural heritages 
demonstrating the clear and complete context of Chinese history and culture.

In Hangzhou, the three sites are all located in urban development centers. This 
also makes Hangzhou pay special attention to citizens' sense of participation 
and the symbiosis between human beings and nature in the process of 
comprehensive protection of the three world heritage sites. An integrated and 
symbiotic protection method that combines cultural heritage, urban development 
and urban residents has gradually been formed after years of exploration.

"Liangzhu" means a beautiful continent in water in Chinese. City and water have 
always been symbiotic in development. The ancestors who laid the foundation of 
the city always lived by water, and Liangzhu ancient city is no exception. The 
peripheral water conservancy hub of Liangzhu ancient city is the earliest 
large-scale water conservancy project site discovered so far in China. It 
includes complicated irrigation systems and agricultural development and 
maintenance. It was of amazing significance in an era when human beings had not 
domesticated horses.

After the inclusion into the world heritage list, it is the common 
responsibility of all parties to effectively protect these heritage sites. 

"The first priority is to protect, and the second is to share the fruits of 
conservation." This is the principle of the management team for the 
Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City, which is responsible for contacting 24 
villages in the reserve during the year to coordinate site protection and life 
and production.

At the same time, Hangzhou has set up a "special zone" model for the protection 
of large sites, which has maintained the integrity and authenticity of the 
sites to the greatest extent, including the construction of the Archaeological 
Ruins of Liangzhu City Park. Now the park has preserved and restored the 
original wetland ecosystem in a large area and restored the ancient country 
style at that time. Moreover, the routine inspection and technological early 
warning of 114 square kilometers of heritage areas and buffer zones are 
strengthened by means of scientific and technological assistance in data 
collection and analysis.

This kind of shared growth and integration between heritage sites and cities, 
cities and people have also been shown in the protection of West Lake in 
previous generations. Today, when wandering in the mountains and rivers of the 
West Lake, the mark of harmonious coexistence between human beings and nature 
can be found everywhere.

As early as 13 centuries ago, Bai Juyi, a famous poet and government official 
in Hangzhou, built water conservancy projects in Hangzhou, organized people to 
raise dams and store water to irrigate farmland. Su Causeway, a famous scenic 
spot in the West Lake, is also named in memory of Su Dongpo, a famous Hangzhou 
official and writer, who ruled the West Lake 10 centuries ago. Since 2002, the 
West Lake, also Hangzhou's most important scenic spot, has become the city's 
central park, with more than 130 scenic spots along the West Lake Park open to 
the public free of charge.

Park So-Hyun, the chief examiner of the West Lake's world heritage application 
and an expert of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), 
marveled at the good coordination of Hangzhou's urban development and lake 
protection at the West Lake. She said that the aborigines themselves are the 
components of the cultural landscape, and they share the responsibility of 
heritage protection with the management team.

The harmonious relationship between Hangzhou and the West Lake has never been 
broken since ancient times. Different generations of officials and locals in 
Hangzhou have a consensus to return the lake to the people and protect the West 
Lake, which is a collective conscious act that has lasted for thousands of 

In the final analysis, the protection of cultural heritage cannot be separated 
from the efforts of city residents. It can be seen that the protection of the 
Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City and the West Lake has really become 
everyone's business in Hangzhou. In the harmonious coexistence of human beings, 
nature and cities, and in the continuous protection of cultural heritage, the 
philosophy of the Chinese nation, its unique aesthetic taste and traditional 
temperament have also been continuously inherited.

Source: Hangzhou Municipal Government