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The historical and cultural cities are regarded as a necessary element that must be protected and enhanced. While in the current economic stage, it is in the urgent need to renew them because they cannot meet with the demand of current people. The issue that we face is the balance between “preserving and protecting historic environments and the need for cities to expand and adapt to continuing economic pressures.”(Frost, 2013). Here I will use Xi’an, which is a typical historical and cultural city in China as an example to show what did chinese planners do.

This regeneration project in Xi’an is to preserve a site called “Xiaozhai” in the city central. This area is known as a historical village in the Ming Dynasty of ancient china and it is at the core area of several commercial centers. Therefore, it is in urgent need to regenerate this area for matching to the whole city.

Fig 1: Daxingshan Temple

What the urban planners do is repairing the old structures first to make sure the protection of heritage. Secondly, for strengthening the commercial in Xiaozhai, the government provides more space surrounding the original structures as a protection and also encourages retails enter this area. Actually, apart from Xiaozhai, there are also some other valuable heritages around that attracting tourists. So planners then create an “o” shape flyover to separate people flow and it can also connect the commercial structures together. (Fu, 2016). Additionally, planners still considered about the parking space for this key area. This project provided the biggest rooftop parking space in the western of China to serve all the surrounding shopping centers and retails.

Fig 2: “o” shape flyover

As the main node at the axis of Xi’an, Xiaozhai plays an important role in representing the history and commercial of Xi’an. This project was started with preserving the heritage and followed by improving the infrastructures to meet with the future position of Xiaozhai.


Frost, R. (2016). Designing in Historic Environments. Urban Design, (127), pp.8-9.

Fu, Y. (2016). Protection of Historical and Cultural Cities and Urban Renewal—A Case Study of Xi’an. Journal of The Party School of Shengli Oilfield, 29(04), pp.62-64.

Figure references:

Fig 1 & Fig 2: Wang, P. (2016). Daxingshan Temple. [image] Available at: [Accessed 19 May 2017].


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