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College of Design


Research + Work

Xi'an, China


The ancient Chinese capital of Xi’an, the eastern terminus of the Silk Road trade routes, holds a high degree of social, political, economic, and cultural significance in Chinese history. In the face of rapid urbanization and motorization, conservation of Xi’an’s heritage requires a comprehensive approach integrating issues of transportation and urban planning. The State Administration of Cultural Heritage and the Xi’an Municipal Government have proposed a plan to use the site of the Tang Dynasty Daming Palace as the centerpiece of a new urban park. The goal is to open the palace site to archaeological investigation, while supporting urban development. Officials also hope to use development of the site in the preparation of a nomination of a portion of the Silk Road to UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites. To study and advise on the proposed development, CWHS Director Arthur Chen and Faculty Affiliate Lance Neckar participated in an international forum held in Xi’an in October 2007. The Center for World Heritage Studies has committed to assist the Chinese authorities in their review of proposals for the Daming Palace site and adjacent urban landscape, and will work to promote development in an environmentally responsible manner.

Download the Xi'an Project Summary