Historic Districts in the Wake of Modern Adversities:Reflections from China and Norway
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Original versionChina City Planning Review. 2019, 28 (2), 44-51.
A shift to a market-led economy initialized due to globalization has caused massive restructuring – both economically and spatially. In the midst of such restructuring processes for place promotion and investment marketing, falls culture and heritage. The developed world identifed the value of heritage and centered the restructuring around the global-local nexus, whereas the developing world, increasingly infuenced by the far west, made progress towards “Americanization.” However different the approaches might be, a similarity in the situation of perception of culture can be found today – induced by the technical and global forces. A new debate emerged in the professional communities on preserving the essence of historic districts/neighborhoods based on the ideologies and perceptions of governments and communities alike. This paper aims to decipher the infuence of the changing notion of “development” and the globalization on the historic districts in the developing and developed worlds, by detailing the case of the Drum Tower Muslim District in Xi’an and a mining town named Røros (a world heritage site) in Norway. The study is primarily based on secondary sources, discussions with experts, feld visits, and in depth interviews with local people. The fndings from both the cases prove that there is no clear distinction in the current scenario of historic district preservation, although the governing processes and planning mechanisms of both countries have stark differences.