Rural Heritage: Value, Conservation and Revitalisation—From the Perspective of the Human-Land Relationship

Xiaofan Du and Ding Shi*

Department of Cultural Heritage and Museology, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT  Today, rural revitalisation has become a national issue for China, and it is one that many countries also have to face. However, a rural area is not some wilderness that is open to any type of development . The long history of agricultural civilisation has left an extensive, precious heritage in rural areas; thus, revitalising rural areas has to be based on conserving that heritage. This special issue adopts the theme of ‘rural heritage’: we provide a platform for dialogue between China and overseas scholars with the focus on conserving and revitalising rural heritage. There are six contributions in this special issue on matters that affect rural heritage in various countries. Among them, it is possible to understand methods of conservation design with respect to Japan’s rural heritage and follow the role of rural tourism in France. It is also possible to grasp the importance of promoting a building culture in rural parts of Germany. All these contributions offer profound insights for conserving and revitalising China’s rural heritage. This special issue also presents the thoughts of Chinese and foreign experts on recent issues related to China’s rural heritage; it provides a comprehensive introduction to the rural heritage protection system in China. Rural heritage is a complex system. Accordingly, the topics addressed in this special issue reflect the various characteristics involved. However, if readers study these articles from the perspective of the human-land relationship, they will be able to identify the deep correlations among them.

KEYWORDS  rural heritage, value, conservation, revitalisation, sustainable development, cultural landscape,
human-land relationship