Demolition and Reconstruction as Urban Preservation in China: The Case of LiaoCheng City

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historical cities
protective destruction
LiaoCheng city
reconstruction and demolition
urban preservation
Historic Preservation and Conservation
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Zhang, Chuxuan

This thesis studies the large-scale “oxymoron” projects/policies (demolition and reconstruction activities) that occurred in China, especially in LiaoCheng City to understand the design of the policies/projects, the factors at play, and their effects on preservation efforts in historic Chinese cities. This study shows that large-scale “oxymoron” projects/policies are mainly affected by four aspects. Firstly, how to maintain the authenticity of historical heritage during the preservation process is still controversial due to China's unique cultural background. Secondly, the land finance, the rapid economic development, and the continuous expansion of the cities have made the land value of the historical centers rise rapidly. Governments and developers carried out large-scale demolition and reconstruction of historic cities for profits. In addition, local governments have too much power over the protection of historical cities. The third reason is that China's current preservation legal systems and regulations for historical cities are not complete. Fourthly, the awareness of the values of historical heritage is not enough under the influence of the idea of breaking the old and establishing the new in the Cultural Revolution.

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