Preserving Lijiang

Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
1
576
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Trip End Dec 31, 2011


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Flag of China  , Yunnan Province,
Thursday, August 20, 2009

When I went walking in Lijiang old town last night I came across three building being demolished in the space of 5 minutes.
So not sure how this organisation can claim credit for preserving Lijiang:



China's Heritage Sites In Danger

Despite the perception that China is fast becoming the world's next
super economic power and given the development boom of major cities
such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, many are led to overlook the
widespread poverty that still exists in China. According to the World
Bank's poverty threshold of $1.25 per day, there were 207 million
Chinese living under the poverty line in 2005.

The extreme disparity between rich and poor, urban and rural areas,
and the disproportional emphasis on development has caused a great
number of major historical sites in outlying, poorer areas to lack the
necessary expertise or funding. The total budget of conservation fund
from the central government in 2008 was 31.2 billion Yuan. This
seemingly large amount is split between more than 1,200 national level
sites and the more than 1,000 museums (for both site and artifact
conservation), not to mention the numerous provincial and municipality
level sites, historical cities, towns, and villages that are left out
of the budget. This is also the same amount that the government spent
on the construction of a single structure, the famous Olympic stadium
"Bird's Nest" in Beijing. With the exception of a few world-famous
sites, cultural heritage conservation is still a very weak cause in the
wave of commercial development. Even in the major cities, prospects for
historical sites can be dim as many of the appeals to save the Beijing
Siheyuan and hutong (traditional courtyard house and streets) are not
heeded. There were over 7,000 hutong in Beijing in 1949, but the number
dropped by nearly half to 3,900 in the 1980s. And the number continues
to fall, with about 600 hutongs disappearing every year.

read the rest of this PR piece at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-morgan/chinas-heritage-sites-in_b_261363.html
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