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Preserving Culture from Age-old Villages

Insight China May 21, 2023

By NewsChina Updated Aug.1

China’s ancient villages have seen widespread demolition since rapid urbanization occurred. In 2000, the number of ancient villages was 3.63 million, but it dropped to 2.71 million by 2010, with at least 100 villages disappearing every day. To preserve the distinctive culture, China prioritized 8,155 villages for protection in March. Among them are Yuxian County at the foot of the Great Wall in Hebei Province, Songyang County in Zhejiang and Wanjian Village in Anhui. The idea of a life surrounded by traditional houses and bucolic rural scenery appeals to artists and young people tired of city life. It can also create a sense of belonging long absent from urban lives. However, the most difficult part is balancing the need to protect villages while improving local lives. Overall planning is needed before renovating rural areas without losing their historic value.