AccScience Publishing / JCAU / Volume 4 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.36922/jcau.v4i1.163
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ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE

Fragilities of Historical Settlements Targeted by Heritage Tourism: Comparison and Ex-Post Assessment of Two Water Towns in the Qingpu District of Shanghai

Gerardo Semprebon1*
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1 Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Journal of Chinese Architecture and Urbanism 2022, 4(1), 163 https://doi.org/10.36922/jcau.v4i1.163
Submitted: 29 July 2022 | Accepted: 22 September 2022 | Published: 6 October 2022
© 2022 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC-by the license) ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ )
Abstract

Heritage tourism in Chinese historic sites has gained importance and has become a widely adopted development strategy that uses architecture and urban ensembles to sell cultural experiences. These sites, immersed in heritage settings or traditional ambiences, embody an extraordinary dimension of Chinese tangible and intangible culture, which call for in-depth studies and critical understanding. This paper discusses how a condition of fragility has materialized under the aegis of economic boosts. The impact of cultural tourism on historic sites is assessed by considering two similar water towns expressing exceptional cultural values, Zhujiajiao and Liantang. The methodology envisaged ethnographic tools to highlight how development strategies have altered local communities, discussing the consequences on physical authenticity and sociocultural equilibriums.

Keywords
fragility
cultural tourism
development
water town
China
authenticity
Funding
Politecnico di Milano
Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
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Conflict of interest
The author declares no conflict of interest.
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Journal of Chinese Architecture and Urbanism, Electronic ISSN: 2717-5626 Published by AccScience Publishing