Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Zheng, Chuhan (2017). Redesigning Historic Districts: A Study of Preservation Plans for Historic Districts of Jingzhou Ancient City in Hubei, China. (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


Designation of historic districts is becoming a more commonly seen strategy for protecting larger environment and historic urban fabrics in China. Jingzhou, which is one of the first 24 “Historic Cultural Cities” in China, designated three historic districts in 2014. However, there are many issues with the existing preservation plans. Before the completed implementation of the plans, this thesis hopes to provide better solutions for creating more equitable and resilient historic districts through criticizing the existing plans, researching on case studies, as well as re-programming and redesigning the historic districts. The criticisms mainly focus on lacking sufficient considerations of large-scale demolition on local community, planning for superfluous amount of land use for tourism that brings negative impact on local residents’ life, and the improper designs of new buildings that mismatch the scales and form of existing buildings and erase the traces of history. Revitalization of Hutong in Beijing through “micro-circulation” and “organic-renew”, as well as the transformation from residential to commercial streets of Kuanzhai Alley in Chengdu are two case studies that are mainly researched on. The strategies of reprogram require participation of all three stakeholders that are government, residents, and developers, and propose to introduce microcirculation, community development commission, as well as transferable development rights into preservation and development of historic districts. The strategies of redesign reiterate the goal of creating an equitable and resilient neighborhood through revising demolition plan, designating distinctive spaces in neighborhood, and creating new site plan.


historic district revitalization, organic renew, community development commission, public-private partnership, transferable development rights



Date Posted: 26 May 2017