Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



With economic and social development, China has lifted its people out of poverty and is continuing to work hard on the road to a well-off society for all. In such a historical period, China is paying increasing attention to cultural construction while developing the economy. How to protect China’s cultural heritage and create economic and social benefits at the same time is a huge concern of the national government. Nowhere is the tension between China’s cultural preservation and economic development more apparent than at the country’s World Heritage List sites. The Grand Canal, known as the Jing- Hang Grand Canal (京杭大运河) in Chinese, was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2014. Since then, the Grand Canal itself has been systematically protected; however, the heritage sites along the Grand Canal have been not only facing development opportunities, but also experiencing commercialization and uncontrolled tourism that threaten their significance and integrity. Taking Suzhou as an example, this research summarizes the current status of heritage protection for Grand Canals sites in Suzhou, China, in light of the successful promotion of the Grand Canal’s World Heritage designation in 2014. The research also develops recommendations that will help other cities and towns along the Grand Canal in China develop preservation and development plans better to balance the relationship between historic preservation and social development and promote the joint development of regional culture and economy. In addition, analysis and case studies are also conducted on the impact of COVID-19 on tourism and the further impact on historic preservation. This research will also put forward some suggestions for the preservation of cultural heritage along the Grand Canal in the post-pandemic era.


Suzhou, China's Grand Canal, cultural heritage, preservation, conservation, tourism



Date Posted: 21 December 2021