Legislative measures will be taken to protect the largest traditional village cluster in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, local authorities said Monday.
The regulation of Lishui city on traditional village protection was approved by the Standing Committee of the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Congress on Friday to set up a traditional village protection zone which consists of the core protection area and the construction-prohibited area.
The regulation will be implemented on Nov 11.
Traditional villages, also known as ancient villages, often have a long history and boast abundant cultural and natural resources. These villages are of great value for protection.
Lishui boasts the largest traditional village cluster in eastern China, with 158 traditional villages, accounting for 39.4 percent of the total in Zhejiang province.
As traditional architecture is a core element in preservation and utilization of traditional villages, the regulation also makes a list to clarify the standards and bottom lines of reconstruction and renovation of the architecture, corresponding responsibilities and prohibited acts.
According to the regulation, villagers are encouraged to inhabit the original site of the villages, and rural tourism, agricultural production and processing, tradition showcase, educational training and modern service industries are also encouraged in these villages in order to promote the protection, inheritance and dissemination of local traditional culture.
A national survey in 2012 showed the vast majority of traditional villages were disappearing into China’s urbanization vortex, which has taken tens of millions of farmers to the cities. From then on, the effort to protect traditional villages has risen to national attention.