'2017 Hangzhou Int'l Sister City Mayors Conference on City and Innovation', Hangzhou, China
  PublishDate:2017-10-20  Hits:2275

From 18th to 20th October 2017, Anna-Paola POLA of WHITRAP Shanghai visited Hangzhou to take part in the ‘Hangzhou Int’l Sister City Mayors Conference on City and Innovation 2017’ and to collect information about the villages included within the boundaries of the World Heritage property of the West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou.

Many international authorities and experts attended the Conference, bringing the audience’s attention to many examples and good practices of urban innovation (smart technologies, innovative enterprises, e-commerce, data management, sharing services, trend analysis, e-tourism technologies…). The Conference also discussed the role of culture as a driving economic resource and methods of developing culture through smart technologies.

The mission to Hangzhou also included visiting the West Lake Cultural Landscape World Heritage property. Anna-Paola, with the support of the staff at the Monitoring and Management Centre of Hangzhou West Lake World Cultural Heritage, visited the villages of Long Jin, Yang Mei Lin, Man Jute Long and Mei Jia Wu.

This field visit is a part of the Small Settlements Research which WHITRAP Shanghai began developing in 2017. Supported by UNESCO, this research is part of a larger reflection on the role of culture for sustainable development.

The objective of this research is to showcase the current situation of Chinese villages from the perspective of heritage and sustainable development. More specifically, the goal is to: identify case studies, improve understanding of planning policies for villages and small towns, and raise awareness about the cultural role of small settlements in the sustainable development of their regional contexts.

Furthermore, this research provides an inventory of villages and small towns inscribed on the World Heritage List from China and the Asia Region, one of which being the West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou. The eight villages located on the mountains around the West Lake, with approximately 5,000 inhabitants, have flourishing economies due to Long Jin tea cultivation, production and tourism.

3Hangzhou Conference on City and Innovation and field trip for the Small Settlements Research

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