Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/222667
Title: MODERNIZING THE OLD STREETS OF CHINA: A STUDY OF TOURISM-LED CONSERVATION OF SHANTANG STREET, SUZHOU
Authors: LIN YINYAN ALVIN
Keywords: Architecture
Design Track
DT
Master
Chen Yu
2013/2014 Aki DT
Conservation
Cultural identity
Old street heat
Suzhou
Tourist-trail
Issue Date: 5-Nov-2013
Citation: LIN YINYAN ALVIN (2013-11-05). MODERNIZING THE OLD STREETS OF CHINA: A STUDY OF TOURISM-LED CONSERVATION OF SHANTANG STREET, SUZHOU. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: As much as urban tourism has intensified in recent years, current conservation practices in Suzhou Old City are becoming obsolete to deal with the influx of tourists and the rapid modernization it has brought along. Decentralization of tourism activities is seen as an imminent strategy. This paper addresses the importance of urban regeneration of Shantang Street, which lies geographically to the northwest of Old City, as a new tourist destination of Suzhou in its potential role to also bind the surrounding new districts to the historic core. However, arising problems in the old street-heat, such as the risk of gentrification and loss of cultural fabric, are causes for concern in this tourist-led development as well. The paper hence aims to contribute to this subject by examining its tourist-trail development approach. When scrutinizing the methods of development, it is found that the phasing approach allows time for review and improvement to be made for subsequent phases. For instance in the third phase of the development, the focus on both public restoration work and infrastructure upgrades have improved the local residents’ standards of living substantially. Also, there have been more synchronized conservation practices with the historic core; the street hence is becoming more representative of the Old City. Through on-site surveys and interviews with tourists and local residents conducted, it is however realized that, there is a loss of local cultural identity at the tourist zone in comparison to the other undeveloped segments of Shantang Street. To surmise, this paper argues for more integration of heterogeneous cultures into old street development. The value of the research lies in its generalization of the findings and its methods used to describe the development of the tourist-trail.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/222667
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