Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Yi, Li (2012). Public Participation Issues in Preservation Planning: Practices of Chinese Historic District. (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


Many issues are awaiting to be solved during Chinese urban redevelopment planning process. Among those issues, the lack of participation of stakeholders in urban redevelopment projects in historic district, other than all levels of government, real estate developers, and planning professionals, is one of the main issues that need special attention to be paid and will be addressed in this thesis.

Via introducing the preservation planning and the concept of historic district, this article will first summarize five different urban redevelopment approaches in order to represent an overall picture of urban redevelopment projects in the last thirty years. Then, the problem of public participation will be introduced based on five approaches. Before the issue of public participation in Chinese urban redevelopment planning practice is carefully examined, the American experience of public participation in urban planning will be introduced, especially in preservation planning field, in order to clarify the importance of the public participation and the successful stories and lessons in the past.

After that, based on the western theoretical base, the article will review five different approaches via analyzing the relationships of the stakeholders in five typical cases, thereby uncovering the reasons behind the lack of the participations in urban redevelopment projects in China and leading to the discussions of examining six opportunities and three threats of applying American public participation experience in Chinese context.

Last but not least, a list of suggestions on how to improve public participation in Chinese urban redevelopment projects will be provided. They can be categorized as the policies, the strategies, and the tools, with an emphasis on the appliance of digital media.


historic district, urban redevelopment, public participation, digital media, ngos



Date Posted: 25 February 2014