The Agricultural Heritage Value of the Polder System in Gaochun, Nanjing

Bohan Tang, Xuqiang Zhan and Jie Zhang* 

Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
* Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT  Polder is a unique form of reclaimed farmland steeped in human history of long-term adaptation to nature. It embodies traditional agricultural technologies, water conservancy technologies and the culture of the agricultural society, providing great value in terms of agricultural heritage. The polder system in Gaochun, Nanjing was born out of the exploitation and use of the lakeside intertidal zone and is a typical example of Jianghuai polders in the Yangtze River delta region. However, because of neglect of its heritage value, the Gaochun polder system is facing the impact of farmland modernisation, and it is urgent to affirm its value and implement dynamic protection. This research explores the historical development and spatial features of the Gaochun polder system, and evaluates its heritage value within the framework of GIAHS (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems) from aspects of 1) food and livelihood security; 2) agro-biodiversity; 3) local and traditional knowledge systems; 4) cultures, value systems and social organisations; and 5) landscapes features. Based on our recognition of the agricultural heritage value of the Gaochun polder system, we put forward suggestions for its dynamic conservation and adaptive management while maintaining its productive functions.

KEYWORDS  polder, Gaochun, farmland water conservancy, agricultural heritage, GIAHS

Received November 2, 2018; accepted February 3, 2019.